March 11, 2024

OFAC designates two Prigozhin-associated companies for supporting the Wagner Group

On March 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated two companies for supporting the advancement of Russian malign activities by the Wagner Group in the Central African Republic (“CAR”). OFAC designated two companies associated with Yevgeniy Prigozhin – CAR-based timber company Bois Rouge SARLU (aka Wood International Group SARLU) and Russia-based Limited Liability Company Broker Expert – for engaging in the unlawful extraction of natural resources for monetary gain and the provision of material and financial support to the Wagner Group and its affiliates.  Prigozhin, the former owner of Wagner Group, died in August 2023 in a plane explosion in Russia.  According to OFAC, Bois Rouge received a natural resources concession in exchange for services provided by the Wagner Group in CAR and currently exports tropical timber to buyers in China, the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia.  Broker Expert has allegedly exported goods to several Prigozhin -associated companies, including Bois Rouge in CAR, and is regularly used by Prigozhin-related enterprises to fund malign activities.

The designations were imposed pursuant to Executive Order 14024.  Bois Rouge was sanctioned for being owned or controlled by the Wagner Group, while Broker Expert was sanctioned for providing material or financial support to Bois Rouge.  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