The United States on Thursday slapped sanctions on four senior members of Japan's largest mob syndicate to protect the U.S. financial system from organized crime, the Treasury Department said.
Hit with sanctions were Tadashi Irie, Hirofumi Hashimoto, Toshio Masaki, and Shoroku Ishida of the Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest and most prominent Japanese yakuza syndicate, the Treasury said.
The U.S. already had imposed sanctions on the Yamaguchi-gumi in 2011.
To date, 10 members of the Yamaguchi-gumi mob have been targeted with sanctions, the Treasury said, noting the mob was engaged in drug-trafficking and money laundering in the United States.
"Today's action builds upon our efforts to undermine the financial stability of the yakuza and disrupt their transnational drug-trafficking and money laundering efforts," David Cohen, the Treasury's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.
"We will continue to target and expose members of criminal organizations like these as we work to protect the U.S. financial system from their illicit activity."
The sanctions freeze any U.S. assets the four mobsters may have and prohibit U.S. citizens from doing business with them.© (c) 2013 AFP