Senator McCain Calls Upon President Obama to Apply Aggressive New Sanctions Designed to Combat Terrorism to the Russian Organized Crime Group Who Murdered Sergei Magnitsky

June 26, 2012

Today U.S. Senator John McCain called on President Obama to invoke Executive Order 13581 against the Klyuev Organized Crime Group in Russia connected to the murder of whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Executive Order 13581 was signed by President Obama in July last year and allows the President to “proscribe” organized crime groups using the same tools that the US Government currently uses against terrorist organizations.

“I write to you today to request that you begin a process to determine whether to designate and impose sanctions, under the Executive Order 13581, against a dangerous transnational criminal organization known as the “Klyuev Group ,” said Senator McCain in the letter.

“Public information, much of it uncovered by Mr. Magnitsky himself before his arrest in Russia in 2008, suggests that the Klyuev Group has colluded with senior Russian officials to engage in bribery, fraud, embezzlement, company thefts, and other serious financial crimes…Activities of the Klyuev Group appear to put the U.S. and international financial systems at serious risk of abuse,” said Senator McCain.

Designating the Klyuev Organized Crime Group (“KOCG”) as a significant criminal organisation posing a US national security threat means that all assets and property of any member of the KOCG will be blocked, and no US person is allowed to do business with them, or with anyone who does business with them anywhere in the world.

According to independent investigations, the KOCG is a major Russian criminal organization that has been involved in fraud, murder, international money laundering, as well as financing and supplies to the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel and weapons trafficking involving North Korea and Iran (

In spite of numerous filings with Russian law enforcement agencies, the KOCG’s operations continue within Russia unrestrained which lead to the group being referred to as the “untouchables”.

The KOCG came to prominence when they were exposed for stealing $230 million from the Russian treasury and torturing and then killing anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

The KOCG involves members of the criminal gangs from former Soviet Union, ranking members of the Russian secret service, police, judges, and tax officials, and has international connections to illicit networks and shell companies in Panama, Moldova, Cyprus, Latvia, Switzerland, UK, and New Zealand.

According to a new investigative video, “The Magnitsky Files” and filings in various jurisdictions, the Klyuev Group is extremely powerful and has embezzled and laundered around $800 million through the international banking system and is reported to be responsible for violent crimes, kidnapping, extortion and deaths.

The significance of proscribing the KOCG is that anyone lending any type of support or assistance or financing to it will be subject to the same kind of U.S. sanctions.

“Basically, applying this executive order to the Klyuev crime group would put them in the same category as Al-Qaeda. It is an extremely strong measure and will seriously curtail their criminal business,” said a Hermitage Capital spokesman.

Senator John McCain has requested President Obama to use the presidential powers under the Executive Order 13581 which is designed specifically to curtail the activities of significant criminal organisations whose operations are inter-twined with foreign governments.

“Such organizations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and dangerous to the United States; they are increasingly entrenched in the operations of foreign governments and the international financial system, thereby weakening democratic institutions, degrading the rule of law, and undermining economic markets,” says the U.S President’s Executive Order Executive Order 13581.

Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old Russian lawyer who was investigating the money laundering by the KOCG, was falsely arrested, tortured and killed in police custody two and a half years ago. His killers have not been brought to justice in Russia.

The Executive Order 13581 was signed by U.S. President Barak Obama on July 24, 2011 to address “the activities of significant transnational criminal organizations” posing national threat.

The term “significant transnational criminal organization” means a group of persons, that
1) includes one or more foreign persons;
2) engages in an ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity involving the jurisdictions of at least two foreign states; and
3) threatens the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

Letter of U.S. Senator John McCain calling on President Obama to invoke Executive Order 13581 against the Klyuev Organized Crime Group.

See U.S. President’s Executive Order 13581 “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations”


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