They’re not your godfather’s mafia. And the U.S. Department of the Treasury is taking a new look at transnational organized crime bosses, who generate billions from the American drug obsession and launder their fortunes in fascinating ways from here to Tokyo.
Treasury’s focus is on seven top members and associates of the Brothers’ Circle syndicate as well as two major players with Japan’s largest Yakuza organization, the Yamaguchi-gumi. The decision to move forward pro-actively comes as a result of an Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama in an effort to freeze the assets and of the organized crime syndicates. It’s considered the best way to hit international mob bosses where it hurts them most.
From Treasury’s web site: "Today’s action casts a spotlight on key members of criminal organizations that have engaged in a wide range of serious crimes across the globe," said David S. Cohen, treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. "We will continue to work with our international partners to target those who deal in violence, narcotics, money laundering, and the exploitation of women and children. Today’s designations are just the first under our new our sanctions authority to target transnational criminal organizations and isolate them from the global financial system."