US Targets Houthi Financial Networks To Secure Shipping In Red Sea & Gulf of Aden

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (abbreviated the OFAC) declared actions against the financial networks helping Houthi forces in Yemen. This targets choking off funding to safeguard the international shipping lanes in the Red Sea as well as the Gulf of Aden that the Houthis’ ever-growing aggression has threatened.

The Houthis, known for their control over Yemen’s parts, have escalated the tensions in the area with attacks on the commercial vessels sailing in the Red Sea, disrupting the free flow of global trade. Per OFAC, the actions violate international laws and also pose a threat to maritime safety as well as free trade.

Red Sea
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The Treasury’s response reportedly involves designating an individual and three entities to facilitate Iran’s financial aid to the Houthis. These reportedly include exchange houses in Turkey and Yemen, key in transferring several millions of dollars, following the direction of the US-designated Sa’id al-Jamal, associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force.

As a result of the Treasury’s most recent sanctions, the interests and properties of designated people in the U.S. or those controlled by the U.S. people are blocked out and need to be reported to the OFAC. This extends to entities owned majorly by the sanctioned groups or individuals. OFAC’s regulations ban the transactions broadly, particularly those involving these parties or those passing via the U.S. unless especially exempted/authorized. Besides, financial institutions and others involved in transactions with the sanctioned parties risk encountering similar sanctions/enforcement actions. This also includes contributions or transactions, whether goods, funds, or services, to or from designated individuals/entities.

The sanctions, part of a strategy under Executive Order (abbreviated the E.O.) 13224, aimed at disrupting the financial networks that support the Houthis. By freezing assets and stopping any form of transactions with the entities, the OFAC looks at cutting off the flow of any illicit funds and mitigating the threats to key shipping channels.

Such an action by the U.S. Treasury is crucial to safeguarding worldwide shipping interests and maintaining regional peace and stability. It underscores the essence of international cooperation in maintaining maritime security and the rule of law in important regions like the Red Sea.

Reference: Al-sindbad

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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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