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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC targets Venezuelan oil sector sanctions evasion network

Financial Crimes OFAC Department of Treasury Venezuela Sanctions Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Designations

Financial Crimes

On January 19, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13850 against three individuals, fourteen entities, and six vessels for allegedly engaging in activities tied to a Mexico-based network involved in the illicit sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of Venezuelan oil. The action builds on OFAC’s June 2020 sanctions against three individuals and eight foreign entities for allegedly engaging in activities in or associated with a network attempting to evade U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector in order to benefit “the illegitimate Maduro regime” and Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (covered by InfoBytes here). As a result, all property and interests in property belonging to the identified individuals and entities subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and “any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated entities, are also blocked.” U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

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