Using Graph’s Explore Tool to Find Foreign Nationals on Corporate Records
Sayari Graph’s Explore tool allows you to find indirect relationships between your entity and other entities in the Sayari Graph database, as well as view their downstream or upstream holdings, UBO information, links to watchlisted and/or sanctioned entities, and PEPs.
Explore is also useful for finding links to foreign nationals operating in a jurisdiction that requires nationality disclosures. The ability to track foreign nationals can provide important context to an investigation for entity disambiguation, or when links to high-risk or sanctioned jurisdictions exist.
In a previous investigation, analysts used Explore to confirm that a Jordanian citizen who allegedly launders money for the sanctioned President of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad, has links to Syrian nationals. The alleged money launderer remains unsanctioned, but maintains an active commercial network.
Finding Syrian shareholders in an alleged money laundering network
Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, the U.S. Treasury has sanctioned hundreds of people and entities linked to the Syrian government. The country also remains on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s list of sanctioned destinations.
According to leaked U.S. government cables from 2008, an American diplomat pushed for the designation of Jordanian citizen Zuhair Sahloul, who allegedly uses his network of exchange companies to move millions of dollars on behalf of Bashar Al-Assad.
Jordanian voter and commercial data confirms Sahloul’s existence in Jordan and that he is a shareholder of multiple Jordanian companies. Explore helps us identify Syrian shareholders on those companies, which suggest possible familial (some of these individuals share the Sahloul family name) and commercial connections to Syria.
To find Sahoul in Jordanian data, we can type Sahloul’s full name in English (Zuhair Yessar Lutfi Sahloul) into the search field and translate it into Arabic (زهير يسار لطفي سحلول) before moving to the Explore section.
Fig. 1: A snapshot from Graph showing Sahloul’s explore page with connections one hop out.
Before applying any filters, the Explore section displays all connections one hop out, but no mutual parties. However, by increasing the distance scanned to three hops and adding a country filter, in this case Syria, Explore will display the Syrians that are on the companies linked to Sahloul.
Fig. 2: A snapshot from Graph showing Sahloul’s explore page with Syrian connections up to three hops out.
Explore saves us the labor of pulling, translating, and looking over every company linked to Sahoul to find evidence of Syrian connections. Moreover, we quickly learned that some mutual parties share the Sahoul family name, proving a potential familial tie to Syria.
Although this investigation involved finding Syrian nationals in Jordan, the Explore tool works with all entities in Sayari’s database. However, country affiliation does not always equate to nationality, but can come from any disclosure that links the entity to a foreign jurisdiction, such as an address or country of residency.