Sanctions slapped on drug kingpin

The Canadian military stops a suspect vessel which was carrying 500 kilograms of heroin worth approximately $100 million dollars in this file photo from 2013. Photo: Royal Canadian Navy Handout

The Canadian military stops a suspect vessel carrying 500 kilograms of heroin worth approximately $100 million dollars in the Indian Ocean in this file photo from 2013. Photo: Royal Canadian Navy Handout

Sanctions have been put on a Tanzanian drug kingpin’s assets by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC.)

Ali Khatib Haji Hassan was the ‘primary distributor’ for trafficking in Tanzania and he ‘regularly received multi-hundred kilogram marine shipments’ of heroin as part of his ‘extensive’ drug operation, says OFAC acting director John Smith.

The decision to label Hassan as a ‘kingpin’ trafficker means all his assets within US jurisdiction and in control of US persons are now frozen.

“[This] action imposes sanctions on Hassan and his illicit drug trafficking network for smuggling heroin and cocaine around the world and seeking to use their illicit profits to bribe African government officials,” says Smith.

Hassan, who went by at least six other aliases and passports, was arrested in 2014 by Tanzanian authorities for smuggling approximately 210 kilograms of heroin, which was seized in Lindi in 2012.

According to OFAC, Hassan ‘frequently’ attempted to bribe officials to avoid arrest and prosecution.

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