July 29, 2020

OFAC designates Syrian businessman and nine entities for supporting Assad’s luxury real estate venture

On July 29, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned one individual and nine entities for supporting the corrupt efforts of President Bashar Al-Assad to construct luxury real estate on land obtained by the forced displacement of Syrian citizens.  Wassim Anwar Al-Qattan, a Syrian businessman who holds multiple contracts to build government-owned malls and hotels for the Government of Syria, and all nine entities are being designated pursuant to Executive Order 13582 for providing material assistance in support of the Government of Syria or being owned or controlled, directly or indirectly by Al-Qattan.  Al-Qattan and his three of his companies are also designated pursuant to the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 (Caesar Act) for knowingly providing significant support to the Government of Syria. 

The State Department also concurrently designated four persons pursuant to Section 2 of Executive Order 13894, that targets persons who disrupt the ceasefire in Syria and the adult family members of sanctioned individuals. However, in light of these designations, the US government reiterated its commitment to continue the humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria, and provided assurances that Syrian sanctions imposed under the Caesar Act or otherwise, would not hinder efforts to stabilize activities in the northeast Syria.

As a result of these designations, all US property belonging to these individuals and entities is blocked, and all transactions in the US are generally prohibited.  Furthermore, any person who transacts with any designated person may themselves be exposed to sanctions.

Department of the Treasury Press Release