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OFAC targets new Yazuka criminal syndicate

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has announced it has sanctioned the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, a syndicate of the Japanese Yakuza criminal network. Specifically, OFAC designated two entities and three individuals: the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, three of its key executive members – Kunio Inoue, Osamu Teraoka, and Takashi Ikeda – and its core clan, the Yamaken-gumi, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13581, which targets significant transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and their supporters. As a result of these actions, all assets of those designated that are in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

The Yakuza has relationships with criminal affiliates in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, where it uses front companies in legitimate industries, including construction, real estate, and finance, to launder money and hide illicit proceeds. In the United States, the Yakuza has been involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

See OFAC's SDN List Update for identification information on the targeted individuals and entities.

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