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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC sanctions international oil smuggling network

Financial Crimes OFAC Of Interest to Non-US Persons Department of Treasury OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations Iran SDN List

Financial Crimes

On August 13, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against several individuals and businesses allegedly involved in an international oil smuggling network supporting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). According to OFAC, senior IRGC-QF officials use proceeds from the designated persons’ involvement in Iranian oil exports, including through the shipment of Iranian oil to foreign customers, to help fund the group’s destabilizing regional activities. Director Andrea M. Gacki noted the “sales rely on key foreign intermediaries to obscure the IRGC-QF’s involvement” and stressed that OFAC “will continue to disrupt and expose anyone supporting these efforts.” As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property belonging to the sanctioned persons are blocked. OFAC’s announcement further noted that OFAC regulations generally prohibit U.S. persons from participating in transactions with designated persons, adding that “foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate significant transactions for, or persons that provide material or certain other support to, the persons designated today risk exposure to sanctions that could sever their access to the U.S. financial system or block their property or interests in property under U.S. jurisdiction.”

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