United States Freezes Assets of Alleged MS-13 Gang Leaders

first_imgDetails of two MS-13 extortion schemes were revealed during two recent judicial proceedings that ended with six gang members receiving lengthy prison sentences. “One of my employees received a call one day on a cellphone that’s owned by the office,” a business owner in the municipality of Mejicanos testified on February 22nd before a tribunal of the Supreme Court of Justice. “[The caller] sounded like a young person and used gangland slang to tell him he belongs to Mara Salvatrucha and that he wanted $1,000 that same day as a ‘monthly rental fee.’” The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed economic sanctions on two suspected leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a transnational criminal gang and a threat to U.S. national security. The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) stated on February 16th that the U.S. assets of alleged MS-13 leaders Roberto Orellana and Dany Balmore Romero García have been frozen and U.S. entities are now prohibited from engaging in any financial or commercial transactions with the two individuals. The OFAC accused Orellana and Romero of leading MS-13 cliques and orchestrating assassination campaigns against Salvadoran law enforcement, Military, and government officials. MS-13 leaders use younger members, who are often recruited with threats, to inform business owners how much they have to pay to prevent from becoming victims of violence. “In El Salvador, MS-13 has zones under its control, as if they were Military spaces,” Rivas stated. “It is understandable that investments are required to maintain the criminal structure. This step taken by the OFAC allows them to block the financial networks that support the gang.” MS-13 engages in a wide array of crime in El Salvador, including drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, homicide, and extortion, according to Salvadoran and U.S. authorities. “MS-13 gang leaders have built up their enterprises to such a great degree that currently they manage every type of investment within the economy of Central America,” explained José Rivas Soriano, dean of the College of Juridical Sciences at Universidad Nueva San Salvador. A judge sentenced Josué Eduardo Parada Díaz, Vidal Armando Ramos Arabia, and William Alberto Castro Díaz to 12 years in prison for extorting the business owner, whose name is being withheld under victim and witness protection laws. For example, the gang uses bakeries and convenience stores in El Salvador and Guatemala as legally established front companies to justify their savings accounts, Rivas added. This is how they launder money and perform the financial transactions that allow them to purchase weapons and sustain their criminal activities. The U.S. Department of the Treasury protects the security of the United States by imposing economic and commercial sanctions targeting external threats to the country’s foreign policy or national security. In 2012, the U.S. government designated MS-13 as a transnational criminal organization. There are at least 30,000 MS-13 members in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, plus another 8,000 in the United States. Hi,We are a Europe based Marine Construction firm and we need an attorney to assist us in drafting a purchase and Sales agreement with a buyer in your area. Are you able to take this matter? If not, a referral will be appreciated. Ray KenOperations Manager BAM INTERNATIONALPrinses Beatrixlaan 52595 AK The HagueTel:+32465765969E-mail: [email protected] [email protected] The victim, who also has protection as a victim or witness, filed a complaint, and, in coordination with the Office of the Prosecutor General for the Republic, coordinated the delivery of the money. At that point, authorities captured José Wilfredo Rodríguez Membreño and Erick Alexander Argumedo Pacheco, who have each been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. By Dialogo March 08, 2016 Criminal enterprises The OFAC’s sanctions are supported by the National Gang Intelligence Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Investigations Division, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations because these cases, among others, involve gang members obtaining money illegally. “[This is] part of a larger effort by the Treasury Department to collaborate with authorities in Central America to combat the activities of MS-13,” OFAC Acting Director Smith said in a press release. OFAC Acting Director John E. Smith said that Orellana and Romero have led “local operations … orchestrating assassination campaigns […and…] have sought to disrupt Salvadoran government efforts to combat MS-13 activity.” The gang consists of “cliques” led by senior leaders who make decisions regarding moving into new territories and recruiting members, according to the OFAC. In a separate case, another business owner in the municipality of Chalchuapa in the department of Santa Ana was told by MS-13 to pay $5,000 in exchange for the gang not interrupting the business’ commercial activities. Extortion schemelast_img read more

Ulster claim impressive away win

first_imgUlster secured one of the most memorable away Heineken Cup wins as they comprehensively beat last season’s quarter-finalists Montpellier 25-8 in southern France. Andrew Trimble crossed for Ulster’s only try on 11 minutes before Ruan Pienaar paved the way for victory with 15 points from his boot. Paddy Jackson also added five points. Ulster had waited 15 matches in the Heineken Cup to beat a French side on their own soil when they edged Castres 9-8 to reach the last-eight last season, but this was a far more impressive triumph to show how much they have grown. The score cut the gap to two points, but the conversion attempt failed to level the scores. That could have been the springboard for a major revival from the Montpellier side, but they were never able to get on top of the dogged Ulster pack. They wasted one glorious try-scoring opportunity, but generally made far too many mistakes for their own good. All the while Pienaar made them pay as he kicked three penalties to stretch the visitors’ lead to 22-8 before Jackson added the coup de gras with a sixth penalty with the final kick of the game to leave his side in very good shape after two rounds. Not only did this win move Ulster two points clear of Leicester Tigers – who they beat last week – in Pool Five, but it also prevented Montpellier a point of their own Yves du Manoir stadium. The French side were in good form heading into the match having opened their own European campaign with a useful away win over Benetton Treviso while they sit level on points at the head of Top 14 with Toulon and Toulouse. They were also unbeaten at home this season but trailed at half-time after Trimble’s try. A brilliant counter-attacking move involving four back-line players, which started on their own 10-metre line, ended with a score to remember for the Irish winger. Jonathan Pelisse gave the home side an encouraging early lead with a penalty, but that was much less than their early endeavour should have brought. Ulster rode the expected early storm and came thundering back into the contest with Trimble’s try. A long kick down field was gathered on his 10-metre line by Jarad Payne. His long pass opened up an avenue on the left touchline and Trimble took a pass from Darren Cave on the outside, passed inside to Tommy Bowe and then took a return ball from his wing partner before cutting inside to score a try which Jackson converted. There were three missed penalties from Ulster, and a wayward drop-goal attempt from home fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc before half-time and the game was evenly balance at 7-3 at the break. Pienaar then opened the second half with a long-range penalty before TMO Gareth Simmonds confirmed there had not been a knock-on in a build-up to a breakaway try for winger Yoan Audrin. Press Associationlast_img read more

Exec shuffle at Sony

first_imgCULVER CITY – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is reorganizing its executive ranks as it begins selling movies through digital downloads over the Internet and prepares for the long-awaited launch of high definition Blu-Ray discs next month, the company said Thursday. The division’s president, Benjamin Feingold, assumed the new title of president of Worldwide Home Entertainment, digital distribution and acquisitions. He will focus on developing and managing the distribution of movies and other Sony content via Internet, and such mobile devices as cell phones and PlayStation Portables. Feingold will also negotiate key acquisition agreements, among other responsibilities. “By reorganizing our home entertainment division now, we are positioning ourselves to deliver entertainment to people wherever, whenever and however they want to enjoy it,” Feingold said. With Feingold’s additional responsibilities, he has named three people to his senior executive team to tackle day-to-day operations: David Bishop as president of Sony’s North American home video business; Matt Brown as executive vice president, Europe, based in London; and Sean Carey as executive vice president of digital distribution and product acquisitions. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventAlso as part of the reorganization, six current SPHE executives have been promoted and given new titles: Robin Russell, senior executive vice president and general manager, worldwide; Marshall Forster, senior executive vice president, North America; Adrian Alperovich, senior vice president, international; Lexine Wong, senior executive vice president, worldwide marketing; Don Eklund, executive vice president, advanced technologies; and James Mercs, executive vice president and general manager of Sony Pictures Digital Authoring Center. “As business migrates forward, this organizational change … will create the right team to respond quickly and effectively to today’s ever-changing environment,” Feingold said.Sony’s new download service is offered through Movielink and CinemaNow and has so far included such titles as “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Brokeback Mountain.” “While nothing can replace the theatrical experience, we want people to have the opportunity to see our movies in their homes or wherever they desire,” said Amy Pascal, chairman of Sony Picture Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group. “The Internet can make it easier for more people to see more of our films, and we’re proud to be opening up this new avenue of entertainment.” Sony’s reorganization comes after similar moves by Paramount Home Video and Warner Home Video. [email protected] (818)713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Hakimi agent not ruling out permanent Dortmund switch

first_imgAchraf Hakimi has not ruled out the possibility of making his loan from Real Madrid to Borussia Dortmund permanent, according to the player’s agent.The Bundesliga club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said earlier this week he wanted to do a deal for the 20-year-old left-back after securing another loanee – striker Paco Alcacer – outright from Barcelona.And Morocco international Hakimi, who is on a two-year loan from the Bernabeu giants, is enjoying life in Germany. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! His agent Alejandro Camano told Goal and SPOX: “Borussia Dortmund is an amazing club and already feels like home for Achraf. “He feels really comfortable and is enjoying his time.”After Watzke celebrated securing Alcacer, he stated his intention of doing the same with Hakimi.”Dear Paco Alcacer, welcome to Borussia Dortmund,” he said.”And Achraf Hakimi – we will try to do the same thing with you, even though it will not be easy.”Alcacer’s loan deal had a clause for the option of a permanent deal written into it, and although Hakimi’s does not, Camano says Hakimi is grateful to able to stake his claim in Dortmund.”We will see what the future brings,” he added. “We don’t think about Real Madrid.”The deal between the clubs did not change and there were no talks with Real since he left them.”We are thankful to Dortmund for the chance that Achraf can play at the highest level in an amazing league like the Bundesliga. Only that counts.”Hakimi has made eight appearances in table-topping Dortmund’s unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season and has played twice in the Champions League, after making just nine league appearances for Madrid in 2017-18 under former coach Zinedine Zidane.Six assists in that time have raised his stock, though without an option to sign the full-back at the end of his loan spell, Dortmund may need to pay out a sizeable figure.last_img read more