December 18, 2023

OFAC designates a transnational criminal organization and its supporters

On December 14, 2023, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated the Malas Mañas transnational criminal organization (“TCO”) as well as two individuals in its support network – an action taken in coordination with the Government of Mexico following US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen’s recent trip to Mexico.  According to OFAC, Malas Mañas is a human smuggling TCO based in Sonora, Mexico that endangers the lives of migrants and undermines the US asylum system.  OFAC reported that Malas Mañas also threatens the national security of the United States and Mexico by engaging in the trafficking of deadly drugs, including illicit fentanyl and methamphetamine.  These sanctions were the result of a collaborative effort between OFAC, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  OFAC also reported that the action was coordinated with the Government of Mexico and specifically Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit La Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera (“UIF”).

OFAC designated Malas Mañas pursuant to Executive Order 13852, as amended, for being a foreign person that constitutes a significant TCO, while the two individuals were designated for being owned or controlled or acting on behalf of Malas Mañas, a TCO.  As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of these designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

US Department of Treasury Press Release | OFAC Malas Mañas Chart