Washington: The United States on Tuesday unveiled a series of sanctions aimed at cracking down on international organized crime, including gangs from Russia, Japan and Mexico and the Italian Mafia.
   
The Japanese Yakuza, the Camorra based in Naples and Mexico's Zetas as well as The Brothers' Circle, based mainly in the former Soviet Union, were among those slapped with economic sanctions, the White House said.
   
US President Barack Obama signed an executive order setting out 56 priority actions aimed at smashing transnational criminal organizations by breaking their economic power and protecting the financial system.
   
It blocked all property belonging to those groups designated as transnational criminal organizations, and barred American citizens from engaging in any business with them.
   
In a statement, Obama warned that global crime gangs were expanding and diversifying their operations "resulting in a convergence of transnational threats that has evolved to become more complex, volatile, and destabilizing."
   
Such criminal networks threatened US interests "by forging alliances with corrupt elements of national governments and using the power and influence of those elements to further their criminal activities.

(Agencies)