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U.S. Sanctions Moldova-Based Men For Drug Trafficking On Behalf Of PKK

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Treasury Department has slapped sanctions on three Moldova-based men that Washington says work as drug traffickers on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

A press release on February 1 said U.S. citizens are now banned from conducting transactions with Zeyneddin Geleri, a "high-ranking member of the PKK"; Cerkez Akbulut, also known as Cernit Murat, a "PKK activist"; and Omer Boztepe, who is currently a fugitive from Moldovan authorities after having been sentenced to 12 years in jail for drug trafficking.

Any U.S. assets the men hold have also been frozen.

The Treasury Department also sanctioned a forth person, Omer Geleri, as well as three Romanian-based companies, for their ties to Geleri.

The PKK has led an armed struggle for an independent Kurdish state in Turkey since 1984.

It is designated a terrorist entity by the United States and the European Union and has been noted for drug-trafficking across Europe.
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