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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