MS-13 gang 'extremely dangerous'

2012-10-12 09:14

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The United States on Thursday declared the notorious Central American MS-13 gang one of the world's most dangerous criminal groups, launching a campaign to lock down its financial resources.

The US Treasury officially labelled the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a "transnational criminal organisation", a designation also applied to the Italian mafia and Japanese Yakuza, and set sanctions banning any US citizens from doing business with the group.

"MS-13 is an extremely violent and dangerous gang responsible for a multitude of crimes that directly threaten the welfare and security of US citizens, as well as countries throughout Central America," said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.

Cohen said the group has been expanding its activities in murder, racketeering, drug trafficking and sex trafficking.

"What we see is an organisation with substantial financial flows," said Cohen.

So Washington wants "to prevent MS-13 from using its financial wherewithal to infiltrate... legitimate business".

Sanctions under the new designation will help US authorities shut MS-13 out of the US financial system and make it more difficult for it to move money around the world, he said.

Cohen called the action Thursday a "first step" in a campaign that could see, as with other designated criminal organizations, leaders, their families, and any related businesses hit with sanctions.

With at least 30 000 members, mostly in Central and North America, including 8 000 in the United States, the group is "one of the most dangerous and rapidly expanding criminal gangs in the world today", the Treasury said.

Criminal organisations

"MS-13's criminal nature can be seen in one of its mottos, 'Mata, roba, viola, controla' ['Kill, steal, rape, control']."

The move officially places MS-13 on a list of "significant transnational criminal organisations" which already includes the Brother's Circle rooted in Russia and Eastern Europe, Mexico's Zetas, Italy's Camorra and Japan's Yakuza.

It allows the United States to block any assets or property of MS-13-linked people or businesses, and prohibits any US citizens or US firms from doing any business with the group.

"This action positions us to target the associates and financial networks supporting MS-13, and gives law enforcement an additional tool in its efforts to disrupt MS-13's activities," said Cohen.

The Treasury said MS-13's local units, found in 40 US states, are directed by a leadership based in Central America, mainly in El Salvador.

"Money generated by local MS-13 cliques in the US is consolidated and funneled to the group's leadership in El Salvador," it said.

Since 2006, more than 4 000 MS-13 members have been arrested inside the United States.

- SAPA

Read more on:    us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.