U.S. Treasury sanctions three PKK supporters aiding drug networksFebruary 3, 2012 at 9:53 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: Kurdish narcotics traffickers, PKK drug smuggling, PKK terrorism
WASHINGTON, AFP, wjs.com – ekurd – 2.2.2012 – The US named three Moldova-based men Wednesday as key figures in the alleged drug network of Turkey’s secessionist Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK, and set economic sanctions against them by freezing their assets.
The US Treasury labeled Zeyneddin Geleri, Cerkez Akbulut and Omer Boztepe as “specially designated narcotics traffickers” for their roles in the PKK’s European network for producing and distributing heroin and marijuana. Also hit with the sanctions, which ban any American or American entity from doing any business with them, were Omer Geleri and three Romania-based companies, due to their ties with Zeyneddin Geleri.
Treasury says the separatist group, known as Kongra-Gel or by the initials PKK, which is based in northern Iraq and Turkey, uses its network across Europe to produce, transport and traffic opiates and cannabis, and that it uses the drug money to obtain weapons and materials.
The U.S. State Department designated the group as a specially designated global terrorist in 2001, and as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. The President named the PKK as a narcotics trafficker in May 2008. The Treasury said Zeyneddin Geleri is a “high ranking member” of the PKK as well as a member of a Romania-based drug trafficking group. Akbulut, also known as Cernit Murat, is linked to 199 kilograms of heroin seized in March 2008 by Moldovan police, and is “responsible for the collection of funds” inMoldovafor the PKK, the Treasury said.
Boztepe is a fugitive from Moldovan authorities after having been sentenced to 12 years in jail for drug trafficking. Naming the individuals as traffickers and placing sanctions on them “highlights the important role that international drug trafficking plays in terrorist financing across the globe,” said Treasury official Adam Szubin in a statement.