On 14 February 2014, OFAC designated the medical supply company Distribuidora e Productos Medicos del Norte and its principal shareholder, Juanita del Carmen Rios Hernandez, under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (the “Kingpin Act”). Hernandez is the spouse of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the leader of the Los Zetas drug cartel, who is jailed in Mexico and was himself designated by OFAC on 20 July 2009. President Obama designated Los Zetas as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker under the Kingpin Act in April 2009 and a significant Transnational Criminal Organisation under Executive Order (E.O.) 13581 in July 2011. The designation of Hernandez and her company is the fifth designation targeting the Los Zetas cartel since mid-2013.
Separately, on 11 February 2014, OFAC designated Lahore Jan, an Afghan national, and his money transfer business (hawala), the Lahore Jan Shanwari Exchange, under the Kingpin Act. According to the US, Lahore Jan is the primary money exchanger for major heroin traffickers, conducting money transfer transactions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and the United Arab Emirates. The US also asserts that Lahore Jan is a heroin producer and trafficker himself, operating a heroin production operation in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. According to the Treasury Department’s press release, the investigation that led to these designations was a collaborative effort between US federal law enforcement agencies and the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, which is an interagency fusion centre that collects and disseminates information on individuals and organisations involved in financing the Afghan insurgency.
On 5 February 2014, the Treasury Department designated three senior members of the Haqqani Network (“HQN”) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. According to the US government, Saidullah Jan, Yahya Haqqani and Muhammad Omar Zadran are senior members of the HQN’s financial and support networks. Saidullah Jan has provided logistical support to the HQN and travelled with other senior members on fundraising trips to Saudi Arabia, and he has reportedly been trusted by Al-Qaida for help; Yahya Haqqani has been closely involved in the HQN’s military, financial and propaganda activities, having provided significant facilitation activities in support of HQN’s attacks and other activities; and Muhammad Omar Zadran, in addition to his participation in the preparation and planning of HQN attacks, has also been designated by the US for his believed ties to the Taliban. Each of these individuals has connections with other members of the HQN already designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. There are now 14 members of the HQN designated under E.O. 13224.