Russia has established an “improvised banking system” in South Ossetia that it uses to circumvent sanctions and support breakaway states within the former republics of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.  South Ossetia has become a focus of illicit financing as Russia uses the region to contravene sanctions imposed by the US and EU against doing business […]

In France, five people are believed to have been part of a financing cell that funded ISIL in Syria and may have also provided funds to individuals seeking to travel to join the group.  The cell, made up of three men and two women, transferred funds to the Islamic State via Turkey. One of the […]

The US Department of the Treasury has sanctioned two Hizballah financiers, Shibl Mhusin ‘Ubayd Al-Zaydi, and Adnan Hussein Kawtharani. Al-Zaydi served as a financial facilitator between IRGC-QF and armed groups in Iraq. He has facilitated investments in Iraq on behalf of the IRGC-QF Commander  Qasem Soleimani, and  has coordinated the smuggling of oil from Iran.  […]

The Islamic State in Somalia is assessed to be cash poor, according to a recent report from the Hiraal Institute. The group raises money through donations (some of which may be voluntary), as well as taxation and extortion. The group focuses on larger businesses within its area of operations, avoiding taxing smaller businesses. While the […]

The DPRK’s Lazarus hacking group used malware to infect servers controlling ATMs, allowing the group to withdraw cash. While the group is believed to act on behalf of the state, some reports suggest that the group is now primarily motivated by profit. The group is believed to have been behind the Bangladesh central bank heist […]

The Islamic State in Afghanistan has financed some of its terrorist attacks and activities in Pakistan through kidnappings for ransom. Three men were arrested in Karachi for financing the Islamic State in Afghanistan through kidnappings for ransom. The men conducted 5-6 kidnappings and sent the money to the Islamic State in Afghanistan through hundi and hawala […]

The Islamic State continues to raise money by conducting kidnappings for ransom. A recent hostage negotiation will likely net the group $27 million. The Islamic State kidnapped 30 Druze in late July. In order to secure their release, the Syrian government has agreed to release 60 Islamic State members and pay a $27 million ransom. […]

The US Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions against Singapore-based companies and their director for evading sanctions targeting North Korea.  Tan Wee Beng, the director and shareholder of a Singapore-based commodities trading company Wee Tiong Holdings is accused of hiding the origin of payments and structuring transactions in order to help acquire goods for […]

Recent analytic work conducted by GIABA and FATF has revealed trends and typologies of how terrorists in West Africa finance their activities. Terrorists finance their activities through trade, non-governmental and charitable organizations, taxation, through criminal activities such as the smuggling of weapons, and drug trafficking. They move their funds through cash couriers, as well as […]

The US Department of the Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Afaq Dubai for the money services business’ involvement in moving funds for ISIL. The Iraq-based MSB moved money for the Islamic State as recently as 2018. The MSB is believed to be part of ISIL’s financial facilitation network that includes other MSBs, hawalas, […]

A new report suggests that Al Shabaab has plenty of money to fund its ongoing insurgency and terrorist activity. A report from 2018 estimates that the group has made at least $17.5 million this year alone. The group primarily makes money from taxation of illicit charcoal, estimated to generate  $7.5 million in taxes for the […]

Cyber actors are reported to have committed financial crimes on behalf of North Korea, raising money for the country’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. DPRK is believed to have generated $1.1 billion from this activity, and $100 million in 2014 alone. In February 2016, the country’s cyber actors executed a cyber attack on the SWIFT […]

Israeli security services have disrupted a Hamas financing scheme that used trade to move value into West Bank and Gaza Strip.   In the scheme, a senior Hamas figure used his financial exchange business to contract Gaza businessmen, persuading them to work with him in exchange for financial benefits. Textile merchants appear to have been […]

According to a recent article, DPRK is increasingly using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions and gain access to foreign currency, specifically US dollars. Previous reports have indicated that North Korea has stolen cryptocurrency as part of its efforts to evade international sanctions. Lourdes Miranda and Ross Delston have stated that North Korea is creating its own […]

PayPal has closed the account of Germany-based International Alliance, an NGO that is reported to sympathize with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). On 1 September 2018, the German bank Sparkasse Witten also closed the account of International Alliance. The PFLP is currently a listed terrorist entity in several countries including Canada […]