Treasury sanctions organized crime groups

The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced sanctions against a quartet of organized crime groups, including one from Italy.

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The sanctions generally bar any Americans from doing business with certain people linked to the four groups: the Camorra from Italy, the Kudo-kai from Japan, the Brothers’ Circle and the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13.

Those hit by sanctions will also see any assets in the U.S. frozen.

“Those sanctioned today support some of the most violent and destructive criminal organizations in the world,” David Cohen, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement. 

“From trafficking in illegal drugs, weapons, and human beings, to laundering the proceeds of their illegal acts, these organizations endanger innocent lives and compromise legitimate businesses.”

Treasury sanctioned seven individuals in all with links to the Camorra, all of whom have criminal convictions, ranging from murder to extortion to mafia association.

Treasury called Kudo-kai the most violent section of the Yakuza, likely the largest criminal syndicate in the world. The Yakuza has almost 60,000 members.

One of the sanctioned members from the Brothers’ Circle is a member of the Russian parliament, while the MS-13 has been known to be active in the Washington area.