U.S. Imposes Sanctions On 10 Individuals, Vessels & Firms Involved In Illicit Oil & Commodity Shipment To Houthis

Oil Tanker
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The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned ten individuals, organisations, and vessels involved in illegally importing oil and other commodities.

The sanctions target maritime shipping and financial facilitators such as tanker captains, vessel managers, owners, and a company that forges shipping documents.

Since October 2023, there have been seven rounds of sanctions on the network of Houthi financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal.

The main objective of these sanctions is to restrict the funding of foreign terrorist organizations, especially the Houthis.

According to Brian E. Nelson, under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, the Houthis still use a vast network of support to carry out their illegal operations, such as hiding the ship’s origin, forging shipping documents, and offering services to sanctioned vessels.

The move under Executive Order (E.O) 13224 demonstrates the US government’s determination to disrupt Houthi capabilities and those who assist them.

On June 10, 2021, OFAC designated Sa’id al-Jamal under E.O 13224 for facilitating Iran’s IRGC -Qods Force (QF).

The IRGC-QF was designated for providing support to several terrorist groups, and the United States Department of State designated the Houthis as a Specially recognised Global Terrorist Group on February 16, 2024.

Sa’id al-Jamal, known by his Chinese nickname “Caihong,” which means rainbow, runs a network of international shipping companies transporting goods to China, Syria, and other countries.

Shark International Shipping L.L.C., situated in the United Arab Emirates and led by managing director John Britto Aruldhas, provided fake shipping documents for ships carrying goods for the Houthis.

Rayyan Shipping, based in India and managed by Vivek Ashok Pandey, operates the Guyana-flagged vessel OLYMPICS, which is still transporting cargo for the Sa’id al-Jamal network using falsified papers.

Abdallah Najib Ahmad al-Jamal, Sa’id al-Jamal’s nephew, manages money laundering operations, collaborating with sanctioned entities to transfer funds to Yemen.

The US Treasury also designated Hong Kong-based Lainey Shipping Ltd and Panama-based Louis Marine Shipholding Enterprises S.A. for carrying sanctioned goods for Hizballah-owned Concepto Screen SAL Off-Shore.

The Sepher Energy Jahan Nama Pars Company imposed sanctions on Sandeep Singh Choudhary, the captain of the ship LA PEARL, which transported illicit products to China.

The sanctions block the designated individuals’ interests and all property under U.S. control, and dealings with them are typically forbidden for U.S. citizens.

Financial companies and other organisations that interact with the parties under sanctions may face fines or legal action.

Instead of punishing, these sanctions intend to impose a positive change in conduct.

The measures taken by OFAC strengthen the US government’s ongoing efforts to cut off and destroy the financial networks that fund the Houthis and other terrorist organisations, putting pressure on those who facilitate these illegal operations.

Reference: US Treasury

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About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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