June 21, 2024

OFAC designates individuals, entities and a vessel for supporting the Houthis

On June 17, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated three individuals, seven entities and identified one vessel for their alleged roles in supporting Ansarallah, also known as the Houthis, and its efforts to obtain funds and/or procure advanced weapons, including ballistic and cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”).  According to OFAC, the funds and weapons have enabled the Houthis to continue to attack merchant vessels and their crews in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

OFAC reported that it identified the vessel OTARIA that has allegedly been used to ship tens of millions of dollars in commodities associated with Houthi financier Sa’id al-Jamal, who has been designated in the United states since 2021.  OFAC also designated the company that manages the OTARIA and its captain.  Other designees include individuals and entities based in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), including Ali Abd-al-Wahhad Muhammad al-Wazir who has allegedly played a key role in procuring materials that the Houthis have used to manufacture weapons inside of Yemen.  OFAC also designated a company controlled by al-Wazir, its parent company, and four PRC-based companies that have allegedly provided weapons and military-grade components to the Houthis.  OFAC also sanctioned an Oman-based import-export firm and its operator, Muaadh Ahmed Mohammed Al-Haifi, for allegedly participating in the transfer of these items into Yemen.

The sanctions were imposed pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, which targets terrorist groups and their supporters.  As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the designated persons within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving a designated person.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release