WASHINGTON: The United States blacklisted four men and their companies based in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, for purported ties to an organisation accused of laundering money for drug traffickers and Chinese, Colombian and Mexican crime groups.

Among them was Pakistani national Obaid Khanani, whose father Altaf Khanani was arrested by US authorities in September last year and accused by the treasury department of laundering billions of dollars for the Taliban and other groups.

The department said in a statement that Obaid, 29, continued to help lead his father’s money laundering organisation after the arrest. Altaf Khanani is set to be tried on money laundering charges in Miami this month, according to federal court records.

Another man on the list, Hozaifa Khanani, also 29, is Altaf’s nephew and was involved in real estate investments on behalf of his uncle’s organisation, the US treasury department said. Muhammad Javed Khanani, Altaf’s brother, was “heavily involved in laundering criminal proceeds via money service businesses”, it said.

The department said a fourth man, Atif Polani, helped move funds on behalf of Altaf’s organisation.

The department also blacklisted several businesses based in Pakistan and Dubai for either being owned by the men or being linked to money laundering.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2016

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