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Treasury targets network financing Houthi attacks on international shipping

WASHINGTON — Today, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated one individual and three entities responsible for facilitating the flow of Iranian financial aid to Houthi forces and their destabilizing activities. Among those named today are the head of the Sanaa Currency Changers Association and three exchange houses in Yemen and Turkey. These individuals facilitated the transfer of millions of dollars to the Houthis under the leadership of US-appointed Sa’id al-Jamal, affiliated with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (IRGC-QF).

“Today’s action underscores our determination to limit the flow of illicit funds to the Houthis, who continue to carry out dangerous attacks on international shipping and risk further destabilizing the region,” the Undersecretary said. at the Treasury in charge of terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian E. Nelson. “The United States, along with our allies and partners, will continue to target key enabling networks that enable the destabilizing activities of the Houthis and their supporters in Iran. »

The Houthis’ continued attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden have significantly restricted the free flow of trade in the region and constitute a blatant violation of international law. Since October, the Houthis have recklessly launched numerous missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at commercial ships transiting near Yemen’s coast.

Today’s action is being taken pursuant to the antiterrorism authority in Executive Order (EO) 13224, as amended. Sa’id al-Jamal was designated pursuant to EO 13224, as amended, on June 10, 2021 for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support, or goods or services to or support from, the IRGC-QF. The FQ-IRGC was designated pursuant to EO 13224 on October 25, 2007 for providing support to several terrorist groups.

EXCHANGE HOMES FACILITATING IRANIAN SUPPORT FOR THE HOUTHIS

The Sa’id al-Jamal Network relies on a network of exchange houses based across the Middle East to facilitate the movement of Iranian funds to Houthi-aligned financial companies in Yemen. These funds are ultimately transferred to the Houthis or affiliated companies located throughout the region.

Based in Türkiye Al Aman Kargo Ithalat Ihracat Ve Nakliyat Limited Sirketi (Al Aman) serves as a crossing point for money sent by the Houthis’ Iranian financiers to the group’s companies in Yemen. The FQ-IRGC deposited millions of dollars in Al Aman and then shipped them to Yemen, where the funds were ultimately deposited into the accounts of Nabco Money Exchange and Remittance Co. (Nabco), a successor company to the US-designated Al-Hadha Exchange Co., established after the US sanctioned the exchange house.

Al Aman also worked with the US-designated Yemeni exchange company, AlAlamiyah Express Company for Exchange and Remittance (AlAlamiyah), to transfer funds from Turkey on behalf of the Houthis and the Sa’id al-Jamal network. AlAlamiyah transferred tens of millions of dollars to support Sa’id al-Jamal’s efforts to finance the Houthis.

Nabco, led by Nabil Ali Ahmed Al-Hadha (Nabil Al-Hadha), president of the Association of Currency Exchangers in Houthi-controlled areas of Sanaa, serves as a financial intermediary to transfer funds to and from Yemen and has thus received millions of dollars from the part of the FQ-CGRI on his behalf. from Sa’id al-Jamal’s network. Millions of dollars also passed through Nabil Al-Hadha’s accounts in Turkey, which were then deposited into accounts affiliated with the Houthis in Yemen. These funds are then converted into Yemeni rials by a Houthi-led organization based in Yemen. Al Rawda Money Exchange and Transfer Company (Al-Rawda) in order to conceal this operation.

Sa’id al-Jamal worked with Iranian officials to transfer money to accounts based at Al Rawda. Al Rawda himself transferred millions of dollars of Iranian financial support to Yemen via Turkey on behalf of the Sa’id al-Jamal network. These funds are transferred abroad to companies affiliated with the Houthis. Al Rawda simultaneously serves as an intermediary to transfer funds from the Houthi-controlled Ministry of Defense to the group’s frontline fighters.

Alalamiyah and Al-Hadha Exchange Co. were previously designated pursuant to EO 13224, as amended, on February 23, 2022 for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support, or goods or services to or in support. by Sa’id al-Jamal.

Nabco Money Exchange and Remittance Co. and Al Rawda Exchange and Money Transfers Company are designated pursuant to EO 13224, as amended, for materially assisting, sponsoring or providing financial, material or technological support, or goods or services to or in support of Sa’id al-Jamal. Nabil Ali Ahmed Al-Hadha is designated pursuant to EO 13224, as amended, to own or control, directly or indirectly, Nabco Money Exchange and Remittance Co.

Al Aman Kargo Ithalat Ihracat Ve Nakliyat Limited Sirketi is designated pursuant to EO 13224, as amended, for materially assisting, sponsoring or providing financial, material or technological support, or goods or services to or in support of ‘AlAlamiyah Express. Exchange and remittance company.

IMPLICATIONS OF SANCTIONS

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, all entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in 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 exempted, OFAC regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or in transit) of the United States that involve property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Additionally, financial institutions and other individuals that engage in certain transactions or activities with sanctioned entities and individuals may be subject to sanctions or enforcement action. Prohibitions include making any contribution or supply of funds, goods or services by, to or for the benefit of any designated person, or receiving any contribution or supply of funds, goods or services from ‘such a person.

OFAC’s sanctions power and integrity derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add individuals to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove individuals from the SDN List in accordance with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about positive change in behavior. For more information regarding the process of requesting removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN list, please refer to OFAC Frequently Asked Questions 897 here. For detailed information on the process of submitting a request to be removed from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.

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

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