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OFAC makes Iran, counter-terror & Global Magnitsky (Cuba-related) designations

Today, OFAC added the following person:

AL HABSI, Mahmood Rashid Amur (a.k.a. AL HABSI, Mahmood Rashid Amer; a.k.a. AL-HABSI, Mahmood; a.k.a. AL-HABSI, Mahmud bin Rashid), Muscat, Oman; DOB 15 Jul 1984; POB Muscat, Oman; nationality Oman; Additional Sanctions Information - Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Gender Male; Passport 03785555 (Oman); National ID No. 7668871 (Oman) (individual) [SDGT] [IFSR] (Linked To: ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS (IRGC)-QODS FORCE). 

to the SDN List under its Iran and counter-terror sanctions programs. It also added the following entities:

BRAVERY MARITIME CORPORATION (a.k.a. BRAVERY MARITIME CORP), Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Liberia; Additional Sanctions Information - Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Registration Country Liberia; Identification Number IMO 6161246 (Liberia) [SDGT] (Linked To: AL HABSI, Mahmood Rashid Amur). 

NIMR INTERNATIONAL L.L.C. (a.k.a. "NIMR IRAQ BRANCH"), Office No. 1, 5th Floor, Al Nadha Towers 2, Ghala Industrial Area, Muscat, Oman; 501 Al Nadha Towers 2, Building 220 Way No 5007, Muscat, Oman; PO Box 254, Muscat, Oman; Hayy al Fayha' -al Amin al Dakhili Dur al Dubat. Building number 44/234, Locality No. 445, Ally No. 46, Section House No. 44/3, Third floor, Office, Basrah Province, Iraq; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Port Um Qasr, Iraq; Additional Sanctions Information - Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Business Registration Number 1037675 (Oman); alt. Business Registration Number 5670 (Iraq) [SDGT] (Linked To: AL HABSI, Mahmood Rashid Amur).

NIMR INTERNATIONAL S.R.L., STR. Horea NR. 80-82A AP. 13, Cluj-Napoca 400001, Romania; Additional Sanctions Information - Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Business Registration Number J12/1651/2020 (Romania) [SDGT] (Linked To: AL HABSI, Mahmood Rashid Amur).

ORBIT PETROCHEMICALS TRADING LLC (a.k.a. ORBIT PETROCHEMICALS; a.k.a. ORBIT PETROCHEMICALS LLC), P.O. Box 2800, Seeb, Muscat, Oman; Additional Sanctions Information - Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Business Registration Number 1089008 (Oman) [SDGT] (Linked To: NIMR INTERNATIONAL L.L.C.).

and cargo vessel:

OMAN PRIDE Crude Oil Tanker Liberia flag; Additional Sanctions Information - Subject to Secondary Sanctions; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9153525 (vessel) [SDGT] (Linked To: BRAVERY MARITIME CORPORATION). 

just to the counter-terror program. It also added the following persons:

MARTINEZ FERNANDEZ, Pedro Orlando, Cuba; DOB 1971 to 1973; nationality Cuba; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG]. 

SOTOMAYOR GARCIA, Romarico Vidal, Cuba; DOB 04 Nov 1938; POB Bartolome Maso, Granma, Cuba; nationality Cuba; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG].

and entity:

TROPAS DE PREVENCION, Cuba [GLOMAG].

to its Global Magnitsky sanctions program.

And Treasury issued a press release on the Iran-related/counter-terror designations:

PRESS RELEASES

Treasury Targets Oil Broker Network Supporting Qods Force

August 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating individuals and businesses involved in an international oil smuggling network that supports Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).  Senior IRGC-QF officials use proceeds from their involvement in Iranian oil exports to help fund the group’s destabilizing regional activities.  OFAC’s action targets a foreign broker, Mahmood Rashid Amur Al Habsi, who has partnered with senior IRGC-QF officials and used several companies to facilitate shipments of Iranian oil to foreign customers, including buyers in East Asia. 

“The IRGC-QF is using revenues from its Iranian petroleum sales to fund its malign activities at the expense of the Iranian people,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki.  “These sales rely on key foreign intermediaries to obscure the IRGC-QF’s involvement, and Treasury will continue to disrupt and expose anyone supporting these efforts.”

Today’s action is being taken pursuant to the counterterrorism authority, Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.  The IRGC-QF was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in 2007 for support to numerous terrorist groups. 

MAHMOOD RASHID AMUR AL HABSI

Omani national Al Habsi has facilitated the sale and shipment of Iranian oil through his companies to obscure the IRGC-QF’s involvement.  Al Habsi’s companies have transported shipments worth tens of millions of dollars.  Al Habsi has worked in partnership with senior IRGC-QF officials, including Rostam Ghasemi, who was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in 2019 for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF, and has managed a vast network of individuals, shipping and oil companies, and vessels to sell Iranian petroleum products for the group’s benefit.  As part of his oversight of shipping operations, Al Habsi has tampered with the automated identification systems that are onboard vessels, forged shipping documents, and paid bribes, circumventing restrictions related to Iran.  

Al Habsi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF.

AL HABSI BUSINESS NETWORK

Al Habsi used his Oman-based company, Nimr International L.L.C., to facilitate the sale and shipment of Iranian oil in support of the IRGC-QF.  Nimr International L.L.C.is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Al Habsi.  

Al Habsi also used Oman-based Orbit Petrochemicals Trading LLC to facilitate Iranian oil deals that obscure the IRGC-QF’s involvement.  Orbit Petrochemicals Trading LLC is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Nimr International L.L.C.

Bravery Maritime Corporation, a Liberian-registered company, is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Al Habsi.  The Liberian-flagged crude oil tanker Oman Pride, which has been used to transport Iranian oil, is being identified as property in which Bravery Maritime Corporation has an interest.  

Romania-based Nimr International S.R.L. is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Al Habsi.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s designations, all property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction of the persons designated are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the designated persons or their blocked property. In addition, foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate significant transactions for, or persons that provide material or certain other support to, the persons designated today risk exposure to sanctions that could sever their access to the U.S. financial system or block their property or interests in property under U.S. jurisdiction.

and one on the Cuba-related Global Magnitsky designations:

PRESS RELEASES

Treasury Sanctions Cuban Ministry of Interior Officials and Military Unit in Response to Violence Against Peaceful Demonstrators

August 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two Cuban individuals and one Cuban entity pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world. This is the third round of sanctions since protests started in Cuba on July 11, 2021, as Treasury continues to aggressively target persons in connection with actions to suppress peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Cuba. The targets of today’s designations are Romarico Vidal Sotomayor Garcia (Sotomayor) and Pedro Orlando Martinez Fernandez (Martinez) of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT); and the Tropas de Prevencion (TDP) of the Cuban Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR).

“The Treasury Department will continue to designate those who enable the Cuban government to perpetuate human rights abuses against peaceful demonstrators,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki. “Today’s action shines a spotlight on additional perpetrators responsible for suppressing the Cuban people’s calls for freedom and respect for human rights.”

SANCTIONS ON CUBA

In addition to the sanctions imposed today under the Global Magnitsky program, OFAC continues to enforce the Cuba sanctions program. With exceptions and licenses to ensure that certain categories of activity are allowed that directly benefit the Cuban people, including for humanitarian purposes, OFAC administers an economic embargo on Cuba that prohibits persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction from engaging transactions involving property in which Cuba or a Cuban national has an interest. In addition, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515 (CACR), block the property and interests in property of all Cuban nationals (unless unblocked) — regardless of whether they appear on Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List). The Treasury Department will continue to enforce these prohibitions consistent with applicable statutes and regulations.

VIOLENT REPRESSION OF PROTESTORS IN CUBA

Since the beginning of the July 2021 protests in Cuba, the Cuban regime has dispatched security forces to suppress peaceful demonstrators, deploying units from both MININT and MINFAR. Sotomayor is the chief of the Political Directorate of MININT, which has deployed, amongst other forces, the Brigada Especial Nacional del Ministerio del Interior (SNB) and the Policia Nacional Revolucionaria (PNR), both previously designated by OFAC. Martinez is the chief of the Political Directorate of the PNR. The SNB and PNR, along with other MININT security forces and the TDP, have violently attacked and arrested protestors across Cuba.

The TDP, also known as “Boinas Rojas” or Red Berets, is a unit of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) that is commanded by MINFAR and functions as military police. During the recent protests, TDP soldiers have been deployed, and in one instance have been involved in a violent engagement with a protestor.

Sotomayor and Martinez were designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, MININT. MININT was previously designated by OFAC pursuant to E.O. 13818 on January 15, 2021 for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse.

The TDP was designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, ALVARO LOPEZ MIERA (MIERA), Minister of the FAR. MIERA was previously designated by OFAC pursuant to E.O. 13818 on July 22, 2021 for being a leader or official of MINFAR, an entity that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse, relating to his tenure. MINFAR is also blocked pursuant to the CACR.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

All property and interests in property of these persons that are blocked pursuant to the CACR continue to be blocked. The CACR prohibits persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction from dealing in property in which Cuba or a Cuban national has an interest, unless authorized or exempt. Additionally, pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 583, all property and interests in property of the persons above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked, and all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt. These prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

And State weighed in on the Iran-related/counter-terror designations:

The United States Designates an Oil Broker Network Supporting Qods Force

The United States is imposing sanctions on members of an international oil smuggling network, the leaders of which have provided support for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).  This action targets an oil broker from Oman who, in partnership with senior IRGC-QF officials, has used several companies to facilitate shipments of Iranian oil to foreign customers.  Two of these companies are based in Oman and one is registered in Liberia.  The broker also controls a company in Romania.  The broker and those companies are being sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13224.

The IRGC-QF has been using revenue from Iranian petroleum sales to fund its malign activities. These sales depend on foreign intermediaries to obscure the IRGC-QF’s involvement. The United State will continue to expose and disrupt those supporting such efforts.

Links:

OFAC Notice

Treasury Press Releases – counter-terror, Cuba-related

State Department Press Release

Categories: Cuba Sanctions Global Magnitsky Sanctions Human Rights Sanctions Iranian Sanctions OFAC Updates Sanctions Lists Terrorism

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