June 11, 2018: OFAC updates Libya, Cyber & CAATSA lists

On Monday, OFAC added the following persons: 

ABU GREIN, Musab (a.k.a. ABU-QURAYN, Mus’ab), Sabratha, Libya; DOB 1982 to 1983; nationality Libya; Gender Male (individual) [LIBYA3]. 
 
DABBASHI, Ahmed (a.k.a. AL DABBASHI, Ahmad Mohammed Omar Al Fituri; a.k.a. “Amu”), Sabratha, Libya; DOB 05 Jul 1988; nationality Libya; Gender Male (individual) [LIBYA3]. 
 
FITWI, Abd al-Razzak (a.k.a. ABDELRAZAK, Ismail; a.k.a. ESMAIL, Abdurazak; a.k.a. FITIWI, Abdurazak), Tripoli, Libya; Sabratha, Libya; Benghazi, Libya; DOB 1985 to 1987; POB Massawa, Eritrea; nationality Sudan; Gender Male (individual) [LIBYA3]. 
 
GHERMAY, Ermias, Sabratha, Libya; Khartoum, Sudan; Tripoli, Libya; DOB 1972 to 1977; POB Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; nationality Ethiopia; citizen Eritrea; Gender Male (individual) [LIBYA3]. 
 
KOSHLAF, Mohamed (a.k.a. KASHLAF, Mohamed; a.k.a. KHUSHLAF, Mohamed; a.k.a. KOSHLAF, Mohamed al-Aameen al-Arabi; a.k.a. “Al Qasseb”), Zawiya, Libya; DOB 12 Dec 1985; POB Zawiya, Libya; nationality Libya; Gender Male (individual) [LIBYA3]. 
 
MILAD, Abd al-Rahman (a.k.a. MILAD, Abdurahman Al; a.k.a. “al-Bija”), Zawiya, Libya; DOB 27 Jul 1986; nationality Libya; Gender Male (individual) [LIBYA3]. 

to its Libya sanctions progam.

It also added the following persons:  

CHIRIKOV, Oleg Sergeyevich (a.k.a. CHIRIKOV, Oleg); DOB 26 Nov 1984; Passport 715896188 (Russia) (individual) [CYBER2] (Linked To: DIVETECHNOSERVICES). 
 
KAGANSKIY, Vladimir Yakovlevich (a.k.a. KAGANSKIY, Vladimir), Russia; DOB 23 Dec 1957; Gender Male; Passport 726105847 (Russia) (individual) [CYBER2] (Linked To: DIVETECHNOSERVICES). 
 
TRIBUN, Aleksandr Lvovich (Cyrillic: ТPИБУН, Александр Львович) (a.k.a. TRIBUN, Aleksandr; a.k.a. TRIBUN, Alexandr Lvovich), Russia; DOB 29 Aug 1969; Passport 7195142631 (Russia) (individual) [CYBER2] (Linked To: DIVETECHNOSERVICES).

and entities: 

DIGITAL SECURITY (a.k.a. DIGITAL SECURITY RESEARCH GROUP; a.k.a. OOO DIGITAL SECURITY; a.k.a. “DSEC”), Saint Petersburg, Russia; Moscow, Russia [CYBER2] (Linked To: FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE). 
 
DIVETECHNOSERVICES (a.k.a. DAIVTEKHNOSERVIS, OOO; a.k.a. DAYVTEKHNOSERVIS; a.k.a. DIVE TECHNO SERVICES), d. 18 korp. 2 litera A, ul. Zheleznovodskaya, St. Petersburg 199155, Russia [CYBER2] (Linked To: FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE). 
 
EMBEDI, Russia; Herzliya, Israel [CYBER2] (Linked To: DIGITAL SECURITY). 
 
ERPSCAN (Cyrillic: ERPСКАН), Russia; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Prague, Czech Republic; Tel Aviv, Israel [CYBER2] (Linked To: DIGITAL SECURITY).  

to its cyber-related program.

And, finally, it added the following entity: 

KVANT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE (a.k.a. NAUCHNO-ISSLEDOVATELSKIY INSTITUT KVANT; a.k.a. NII KVANT; a.k.a. RUSSIAN FEDERAL STATE UNITARY ENTERPRISE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE KVANT), Khovrino District, Moscow, Russia; St. Petersburg, Russia [CYBER2] [CAATSA – RUSSIA] (Linked To: FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE). 

to its CAATSA-related sanctions program.

And Treasury issued this press release: 

Treasury Sanctions Russian Federal Security Service Enablers

 
June 11, 2018

Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five Russian entities and three Russian individuals under Executive Order (E.O.) 13694, “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities,” as amended, and Section 224 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).  One of the designated entities in controlled by and has provided material and technological support to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), while two others have provided the FSB with material and technological support.  OFAC is also designating several entities and individuals for being owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the three entities that have enabled the FSB.

“The United States is engaged in an ongoing effort to counter malicious actors working at the behest of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.  The entities designated today have directly contributed to improving Russia’s cyber and underwater capabilities through their work with the FSB and therefore jeopardize the safety and security of the United States and our allies,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “The United States is committed to aggressively targeting any entity or individual working at the direction of the FSB whose work threatens the United States and will continue to utilize our sanctions authorities, including those provided under CAATSA, to counter the constantly evolving threats emanating from Russia.”

Examples of Russia’s malign and destabilizing cyber activities include the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack; cyber intrusions against the U.S. energy grid to potentially enable future offensive operations; and global compromises of network infrastructure devices, including routers and switches, also to potentially enable disruptive cyber-attacks.  Today’s action also targets the Russian government’s underwater capabilities.  Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables, which carry the bulk of the world’s telecommunications data. 

OFAC designated the FSB on March 15, 2018 pursuant to Section 224 of CAATSA for engaging in activities that undermine the cybersecurity of individuals and entities on behalf of the Russian government.  The FSB was also previously sanctioned on December 28, 2016 pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended.

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.  

 

Designated Entities and Individuals

Today’s action includes the designation of five Russian entities and three Russian individuals pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, as well as a concurrent designation pursuant to Section 224 of CAATSA.

Digital Security was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB.  As of 2015, Digital Security worked on a project that would increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities for the Russian Intelligence Services, to include the FSB.

ERPScan was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for being owned or controlled by Digital Security.  As of August 2016, ERPScan was a subsidiary of Digital Security.

Embedi was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended.  As of May 2017, Embedi was owned or controlled by Digital Security.

Kvant Scientific Research Institute (Kvant) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, and Section 224 of CAATSA for being owned or controlled by the FSB.  In August 2010, the Russian government issued a decree that identified Kvant as a federal state unitary enterprise that would be supervised by the FSB.

Kvant was also designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB.  As of August 2015, Kvant was a research institute with extensive ties to the FSB.  Furthermore, as of April 2017, Kvant was the prime contractor on a project for which the FSB was the end user.

Divetechnoservices was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB.  Since 2007, Divetechnoservices has procured a variety of underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies, to include the FSB.  Further, in 2011, Divetechnoservices was awarded a contract to procure a submersible craft valued at $1.5 million for the FSB.

Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun (Tribun) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices.  As of December 2017, Tribun was Divetechnoservices’ General Director.

Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov (Chirikov) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices.  As of March 2018, Chirikov was Divetechnoservices’ Program Manager.

Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy (Kaganskiy) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices.  As of December 2017, Kaganskiy was Divetechnoservices’ owner.  Previously, Kaganskiy also served as Divetechnoservices’ General Director.  

and this one:

Treasury Sanctions Six Migrant Smugglers for Threatening Libya’s Peace, Security, or Stability

 
June 11, 2018

Action Taken Concurrently with the United Nations Security Council 

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), concurrently with the United Nations, sanctioned six individuals for threatening the peace, security, or stability of Libya through their involvement in the smuggling of migrants.  Migrant smuggling has become a lucrative business in Libya and fuels instability by providing funding for rogue militias and criminal networks.  As a result of today’s action, all of the designated persons’ assets in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  Additionally, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons, including entities owned by designated persons.  

“Treasury is taking action to combat migrant smuggling and abuse by rogue militias and criminal networks in Libya who are exploiting vulnerable populations for their own personal financial gain,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  “These brutal smuggling groups have tortured, robbed, and enslaved migrants seeking a better life.  The United States is isolating these callous individuals from the U.S. financial system.”

OFAC designated the six individuals – Ermias Ghermay, Musab Abu Grein, Abd al-Rahman Milad, Mohamed Koshlaf, Abd al-Razzak Fitwi, and Ahmed Dabbashi – pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13726, which targets actions threatening the peace, security, or stability of Libya. 

This action, taken today concurrently with new UN sanctions, underscores the United States’ resolve to work with our international partners to target individuals threatening the peace, security, or stability of Libya through their involvement in the smuggling of migrants.

ERMIAS GHERMAY

Ermias Ghermay (Ghermay) has been the head of an international migrant smuggling ring that stretches from East Africa to Europe via Libya for at least ten years.  Ghermay reportedly organized the voyage of the wooden boat carrying migrants that sank off Lampedusa, Italy, on October 3, 2013, resulting in the drowning deaths of 366 people, and in the aftermath Ghermay admitted that he did not give the migrants lifejackets.  In addition, Ghermay reportedly locked migrants in warehouses where they were repeatedly tortured and extorted for more money.  Ghermay has been living in Libya, and is a wanted person for his involvement in migrant smuggling and other illicit activities both in Libya and abroad.

MUSAB ABU GREIN

Musab Abu Grein (Abu Grein) is the leader of a powerful migrant smuggling organization in Sabratha, Libya, and has been called the “Libyan king of migrant smuggling.”  Also known as “The Doctor,” Abu Grein reportedly smuggled 45,000 people to Europe in 2015 alone.  Abu Grein has been accused of using boats unsuitable for crossing the sea and that cannot stay afloat more than a few miles off the coast.

MOHAMED KOSHLAF and ABD AL-RAHMAN MILAD

Mohamed Koshlaf (Koshlaf) is the commander of the al-Nasr Brigade and collaborates with Abd al-Rahman Milad (Milad).  The al-Nasr Brigade controlled a detention center in Zawiya, Libya used to house migrants, where conditions were reportedly inhumane, with severe overcrowding, shortages of food and other basic necessities, and no access to medical care.  On April 1, 2016, at least four African migrants were killed and 20 injured at the detention center after guards opened fire during a mass escape attempt.

Milad is the leader of a local coast guard unit headquartered in Zawiya, Libya.  Milad and other coast guard members have been directly involved in the sinking of migrant boats using firearms, some reportedly in an attempt to undermine the smuggling business of Koshlaf’s competitors.  Milad’s unit has reportedly confiscated the boat engines of some smugglers who did not pay Milad, leaving them stranded at sea.  The unit has also reportedly transferred migrants recovered at sea to the al-Nasr Brigade’s detention center in Zawiya.  In addition, a member of Milad’s local coast guard unit has been video recorded striking migrants on a small rubber dinghy with a bullwhip. 

ABD AL-RAZZAK FITWI

Abd al-Razzak Fitwi (Fitwi) is the leader of one of the largest migrant smuggling operations in Libya and has cultivated, over a multi-year period, extensive political connections to various security forces that control the management of detention centers once administered by the Libyan state.  Fitwi has operated a migrant smuggling route connecting Sudan, Libya, and Europe.  He has an extensive network of associates who provide logistical and financial services, including money laundering.  In addition to collecting money for the transfer of migrants across Libya and the Mediterranean, Fitwi has been accused of extracting payments for the release of migrants from detention centers.

 
AHMED DABBASHI

Ahmed Dabbashi (Dabbashi) has been the leader of one of two powerful migrant smuggling organizations in Sabratha, Libya.  Dabbashi used his organization to rob and enslave migrants before allowing them to leave for Italy.  In October 2017, when forces opposed to Dabbashi ousted him from Sabratha after 19 days of fighting, they found malnourished migrants locked inside his operations center, which had been turned into a makeshift jail.  The fighting that ousted Dabbashi killed migrants in crossfires, caused thousands more to flee the city, and resulted in the destruction of schools, hospitals, and municipal buildings.  Dabbashi has threatened to return to Sabratha by force.

Links:

OFAC Notice

Treasury Press Releases: CAATSA/CyberLibya

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