Action TargetsHawaladar with Ties to International Narcotics Trafficking and the Taliban
WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of Afghan national Lahore Jan pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for his significant role in international narcotics trafficking. Lahore Jan is a known narcotics trafficker in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He is involved in moving money for the Taliban and other narcotics traffickers using his hawala, a value transfer system, called the Lahore Jan Shanwari Exchange. As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which Lahore Jan or the Lahore Jan Shanwari Exchange have an interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
“As a hawaladar for drug traffickers and the Taliban, Lahore Jan promotes instability, organized crime, and terror via the Afghan heroin and hashish trades,” said Adam Szubin, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). “Today’s action sends a clear message: OFAC will continue to target and expose anyone, anywhere involved in these illicit activities.”
Lahore Jan makes most of his profits through heroin trafficking and moving money for various drug traffickers. He conducts hawala transactions between Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and the United Arab Emirates and moves funds for various narcotics trafficking networks. Lahore Jan is the primary money exchanger for major narcotics traffickers and is also one of the primary hawaladars used by the Haji Bagcho drug trafficking organization to receive heroin proceeds from sales overseas. On March 13, 2012, Haji Bagcho was convicted on charges of drug trafficking and narco-terrorism and is currently serving a life sentence in a U.S. federal prison. Further, Lahore Jan and a close narcotics business partner control a heroin production operation in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.
The investigation that led to these designations was the result of collaborative efforts of Treasury, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Afghan Threat Finance Cell (ATFC). The ATFC is a tactically-focused, interagency fusion center in Afghanistan that collects, analyzes and disseminates relevant financial intelligence on individuals and organizations involved in financing the Afghan insurgency.
Today’s action is part of ongoing efforts pursuant to the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide. The Treasury Department has designated almost 1400 individuals and entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.