Multinationals Avoid Civil and Criminal Penalties with World-Check Risk Intelligence on Guatemalan Cartels

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Demonstrating its comprehensive research capacity, World-Check has helped clients avoid violating the Drug Kingpin Act by profiling individuals associated with the Zacapa cartel ahead of a US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction order

Narcotics cartels are just one of many high risk categories that our specialist Organised Crime Research Unit covers.

Demonstrating its comprehensive research capacity, World-Check has helped clients avoid violating the Drug Kingpin Act by profiling individuals associated with the Zacapa cartel ahead of a US Office of Foreign Assets Control sanction order on 27 April. Under the act, consequences for companies doing business with these individuals range from civil penalties of $1.075 million, criminal penalties for corporate officers of up to 30 years in prison and fines of $5 million.

The four Guatemalan citizens linked to the Zacapa cartel, and profiled by World-Check in July 2009 include Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, current leader of the cartel and his three sons. The organisation’s alleged founder, Arnoldo Vargas Estrada, was profiled by World-Check researchers in 2006; and Byron Alcides Berganza, a previous leader of the organization, was profiled in March 2004.

“The development of the Guatemala drug smuggling route in the 1990s was largely due to the increasing risks of the Caribbean smuggling route after the installation of radars. With a heavy presence of Mexican cartels, Guatemala is considered a crucial narcotics epicenter in Central America. Our Organized Crime Research Unit is permanently monitoring this area, prioritizing it as one important Central American target for narcotics activity and an important risk category well documented in our risk intelligence database” said Daniel Peak, Chief Executive officer of World-Check.

OFAC sanctions aim to cut off access to U.S financial systems and block trade with U.S companies and individuals, effectively freezing all assets relating to the designated individuals and companies. Since 2005, World-Check researchers have profiled heightened risk individuals in more than 400 cases ahead of OFAC sanctions.

http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/actions/20100427.shtml
http://usembassy.state.gov/posts/gt1/wwwhhrs2.html
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nys/pressreleases/April08/Berganza%20Sentencing%20PR.pdf

About World-Check
Trusted by more than 4 500 institutions in over 160 countries, including 49 of the world’s top 50 banks, World-Check offers an end-to-end solution for assessing, managing and remediating financial, regulatory and reputational risks. World-Check’s global database of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and heightened risk individuals and entities, due diligence reports, passport verification and country risk assessment tools provide the means to address the full spectrum of risk across all markets and industries. Represented across five continents, World-Check’s international research team monitors emerging risks in more than 50 languages, covering over 240 countries and territories worldwide.

For more information visit http://www.world-check.com/

Media Relations:
Marion Willson
World-Check Media Desk
E-mail: mw2(at)world-check(dot)com

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Marion Willson
World-Check
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