Treasury Targets Commodity Shipments Financing Iran’s Qods Force and Houthis
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WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two companies in Hong Kong (PRC) and the United Arab Emirates for shipping Iranian commodities on behalf of the network of Iran-based, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF)-backed Houthi financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal. OFAC is also identifying four vessels as blocked property in which these companies have an interest. The revenue from the commodity sales supports the Houthis and their continued attacks against international shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. 

“The United States continues to take action against the illicit Iranian financial networks that fund the Houthis and facilitate their attacks,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Together with our allies and partners, we will take all available measures to stop the destabilizing activities of the Houthis and their threats to global commerce.”

Today’s action is being taken pursuant to the counterterrorism authority in Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended. Sa’id al-Jamal was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, on June 10, 2021 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF. The IRGC-QF was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007 for providing support to multiple terrorist groups. 

ILLICIT IRGC-QF AND HOUTHI COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY

Houthi and IRGC-QF financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal engages in a variety of commercial activities that involve the sale of Iranian commodities to generate revenue for the Houthis and the IRGC-QF.

The vessel MEHLE (IMO: 9191711), which is owned and managed by Hong Kong (PRC)-based Cielo Maritime Ltd, has shipped Iranian commodities to China in support of Sa’id al-Jamal. The MEHLE used forged shipping documents to disguise the Iranian origin of the cargo.

Cielo Marine Ltd is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Sa’id al-Jamal.  The MEHLE is being identified as property in which Cielo Marine Ltd has an interest. 

The vessel SINCERE 02 (IMO: 9226011), managed and operated by Marshall Islands-registered, United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Global Tech Marine Services Inc (Global Tech Marine Services), has similarly shipped Iranian commodities in support of Sa’id al-Jamal. The SINCERE 02 similarly sought to disguise the origin of the goods using forged documents. Sa’id al-Jamal has shipped Iranian commodities onboard the SINCERE 02 in coordination with Türkiye-based Abdi Nasir Ali Mahamud, who was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, on June 10, 2021 for his support to Sa’id al-Jamal. 

Global Tech Marine Services also operates the vessels MOLECULE (IMO: 9209300) and FORTUNE GALAXY (IMO: 9257010), both of which have been involved in the shipment of Iranian commodities. 

Global Tech Marine Services is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Sa’id al-Jamal. The SINCERE 02, MOLECULE, and FORTUNE GALAXY are all being identified as property in which Global Tech Marine Services has an interest. 

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. 

In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person. 

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 here. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.

Click here for more information on the individuals and entities designated today.

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Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy2022