On January 12, 2024, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated two companies for their role in the shipment of Iranian commodities on behalf of a network associated with Sa’id al-Jamal. Al-Jamal was designated by the United States in 2021 for being a financial facilitator of the Houthis and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (“IRGC-QF”). The new designations target Hong Kong (PRC)-based Cielo Maritime Ltd and United Arab Emirates-based Global Tech Marine Services Inc. for shipping Iranian commodities in support of al-Jamal, which, according to OFAC, generated revenue that supported Houthi endeavors, including the group’s continued attacks against international shipping vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. OFAC also identified four vessels as blocked property for being owned or controlled by one of the newly-designated entities.
These sanctions were imposed following the designation of three exchange houses that allegedly transferred funds to and from Yemen for al-Jamal’s network. OFAC also designated thirteen members of al-Jamal’s network in December 2023 for allegedly generating millions of dollars’ worth of foreign currency for the Houthis from the sale and shipment of Iranian commodities.
The new designations were imposed pursuant to the counterterrorism authority in Executive Order 13224, as amended. As a result of the designations, all property and interests in property of the designated persons within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US 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.