Bloomberg News

U.S. Names Europe-Based PKK Supporters on Drug Sanctions List

February 02, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. placed four people based in Europe on a list of designated narcotics traffickers, saying they use the trade to raise money for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

The four men in Moldova and Romania, and three Romanian companies, are subject to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, and barred from carrying out financial or commercial transactions with U.S. citizens, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement e-mailed by the U.S. embassy in Ankara.

The PKK has been fighting for autonomy in largely Kurdish southeast Turkey for almost three decades, in a conflict that has left more than 40,000 people dead, mostly Kurds. It’s classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and European Union. The U.S. labeled the group a “significant” narcotics distributor in 2008.

“Drug trafficking is one of the PKK’s most lucrative criminal activities and it uses the illicit proceeds to obtain weapons and materials,” OFAC said yesterday.

--Editors: Ben Holland, Karl Maier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Emre Peker in Ankara at epeker2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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