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Houthi stand on beach after ship attack

Armed men stand on the beach as the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Yemen's Houthis last month, is anchored off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

US Issues Fresh Sanctions Targeting Houthi Financial Network

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 960
January 12, 2024

The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed new sanctions on two companies based in Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates accused of facilitating Iranian commodities shipments that help fund Houthi group’s attacks on shipping.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) says the commodities are shipped on behalf of the Houthi financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal, who is backed by the Iran-based Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).

Four vessels associated with these companies have been identified as blocked property by the Treasury Department. The revenue generated from these commodity sales is believed to support the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, which has been launching attacks on international shipping routes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden

The sanctions follow a earlier round of sanctions announced on Dec. 28 against one individual and three entities for helping the flow of Iranian financial assistance to Houthi forces. They also follow the joint military strikes by the U.S. and United Kingdom against the Houthis in Yemen.

“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.”

The sanctions were imposed under the counterterrorism authority of Executive Order 13224. Sa’id al-Jamal, the Houthi and IRGC-QF financial facilitator, is involved in various commercial activities selling Iranian commodities to generate revenue for the Houthi network and the IRGC-QF.

The implicated vessels include the MEHLE, owned by Hong Kong-based Cielo Maritime Ltd, and the SINCERE 02, operated by UAE-based Global Tech Marine Services Inc. Both vessels are accused of shipping Iranian commodities to support Sa’id al-Jamal, using forged shipping documents to hide the Iranian origin of the cargo.

The Treasury Department has designated Cielo Marine Ltd and Global Tech Marine Services for providing material support to Sa’id al-Jamal. Both companies’ vessels, named Molecule and Fortune Galaxy, have been identified as blocked properties.

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