Treasury Targets Houthi Weapons Procurement and Funding Networks

Treasury Targets Houthi Weapons Procurement and Funding Networks

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating two individuals and five entities that have facilitated weapons procurement for Ansarallah, commonly referred to as the Houthis. OFAC is also designating one individual and one company, as well as identifying one vessel, that have facilitated the shipment of commodities, the sale of which provides an important funding stream to the Houthis that aids in their weapons procurement. This action targets key actors who have enabled the Houthis to generate revenue and acquire a range of materials to manufacture the advanced weaponry they are now using to conduct ongoing terrorist attacks against commercial ships. Since November 2023, the Houthis have deployed a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles to attack merchant vessels and their crews in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, killing innocent civilians, causing severe damage to commercial ships, and threatening global freedom of navigation. 

“The Houthis’ continued, indiscriminate, and reckless attacks against unarmed commercial vessels are made possible by their access to key components necessary for the production of their missiles and UAVs,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States remains resolved to use the full range of our tools to halt the flow of military-grade materials and funds from commodities sales that enable these destabilizing terrorist activities.”  

Today’s action is being taken pursuant to the counterterrorism authority Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended. The U.S. Department of State designated Ansarallah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, effective February 16, 2024, for having committed or attempted to commit, posing a significant risk of committing, or having participated in training to commit acts of terrorism. 

HOUTHI PROCUREMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC)

Ali Abd-al-Wahhab Muhammad al-Wazir (al-Wazir) is a PRC-based Houthi-affiliated individual who plays a key role in procuring materials that enable Houthi forces to manufacture advanced conventional weapons inside Yemen. He uses his PRC-based company, Guangzhou Tasneem Trading Company Limited (Guangzhou Tasneem), to obtain these items and ship them to Yemen. Guangzhou Tasneem is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Tasneem Trading Company Limited. 

Al-Wazir is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Ansarallah. Guangzhou Tasneem 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, Ansarallah. Tasneem Trading Company Limited is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for owning or controlling Guangzhou Tasneem.  

HOUTHI PROCUREMENT ACTIVITIES IN OMAN

Houthi leaders transfer weapons-grade materials purchased from PRC-based and other international suppliers into Yemen using import-export firms located in third countries. One such entity, the Oman-based International Smart Digital Interface Limited Liability Company (ISDI), has purchased and facilitated the transfer of cruise missile components, manufacturing equipment, and other dual-use materials into Yemen. ISDI and its operator, Muaadh Ahmed Mohammed al-Haifi (al-Haifi), coordinate with senior Houthi members to complete these procurements. ISDI’s and al-Haifi’s activities have directly enabled Houthi attacks against U.S. allies in the region. In 2020, for example, Houthi forces struck a Saudi Aramco facility in the region using a Quds-type land attack cruise missile that contained components that ISDI had sourced from a PRC-based supplier. In September 2023, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security added ISDI and al-Haifi to the Entity List.

ISDI 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, Ansarallah. Al-Haifi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, ISDI.  

PRC-BASED SUPPLIERS FOR HOUTHI WEAPONS PROCUREMENT

The Houthis have sourced critical components for their forces from PRC-based companies. The Houthis have coordinated with PRC-based firm Ningbo Beilun Saige Machine Co., Ltd. to procure materials critical for manufacturing UAVs and other weapons. 

Similarly, Houthi-affiliated individuals have coordinated with Dongguan Yuze Machining Tools Company Limited to source tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment for their domestic weapons production efforts. 

Ningbo Beilun Saige Machine Co., Ltd. and Dongguan Yuze Machining Tools Company Limited are 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, Ansarallah.

HOUTHI COMMODITY SHIPMENT

The Cameroon-flagged OTARIA, which is managed by UAE-based Stellar Wave Marine L.L.C and captained by Vyacheslav Salyga, loaded commodities associated with Houthi financier Sa’id al-Jamal in late May 2024 to be discharged in Singapore. The OTARIA is currently carrying a cargo of commodities worth tens of millions of dollars. OFAC designated Sa’id al-Jamal pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, on June 10, 2021, 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.

Stellar Wave Marine L.L.C and Vyacheslav Salyga are 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, Sa’id al-Jamal. The OTARIA is being identified pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, as property in which Stellar Wave Marine L.L.C has an interest. 

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit 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. 

In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person. 

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897.  For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list.

Click here for more information on the individuals and entities designated and vessel identified today.

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Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy2409

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