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Press Center

 Treasury Sanctions Additional Individuals and Entities In Response to Continuing Violent Attacks on Syrian Citizens by the Syrian Government


5/16/2017

 
Action Targets Financial Facilitation for the Syrian Regime and Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center
 
Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five individuals and five entities in response to continued acts of violence committed by the Government of Syria, led by Bashar al-Assad, against its own citizens.  The designated individuals and entities have provided support or services to the Government of Syria, or are owned or controlled by or are acting for or on behalf of designated individuals or entities.    
 
“The Syrian government’s relentless attacks on civilians have continued unabated,” said OFAC Director John E. Smith.  “As long as the Syrian government continues its campaign of brutal violence against its own people, Treasury will continue targeting the finances of anyone enabling Assad, and will continue intensifying pressure on Assad’s regime in support of diplomatic efforts to end the conflict in Syria.”
 
Today’s action was taken pursuant to three Executive Orders (E.O.s): E.O. 13572, which targets persons responsible for human rights abuses in Syria, their supporters, and supporters of senior officials or certain activities related to public corruption; E.O. 13582, which targets the Government of Syria and its supporters; and E.O. 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters.
 
As a result of today’s action, any property or interest in property of the identified persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked.  Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons involving these persons are generally prohibited.
 
Support to Government of Syria Regime Insider Rami Makhluf  
 
OFAC designated Muhammad Abbas, the maternal cousin of Rami Makhluf who carries out the financial interests of Makhluf, pursuant to E.O. for 13572 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Rami Makhluf, and materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, Rami Makhluf.  OFAC also designated al-Ajnihah, a private Damascus-based company used to move Rami Makhluf’s financial earnings out of Syria, for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Muhammad Abbas, and Barly Off-Shore, a Lebanon-based front company used to move Rami Makhluf’s financial earnings out of Syria, for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Muhammad Abbas.  Rami Makhluf is a powerful Syrian businessman and regime insider who benefits from and aids corrupt Syrian regime officials.  Maklhuf uses intimidation and his close ties to the Assad regime to obtain improper financial advantages at the expense of ordinary Syrians.
 
OFAC also designated Al-Bustan Charity pursuant to E.O. 13572 for being owned or controlled by Rami Makhluf, and Al-Bustan’s director, Samir Darwish, for acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Al-Bustan Charity.  Makhluf created a vast private network of militias and security-linked institutions through Al-Bustan, a prominent organization recruiting and mobilizing individuals to support and augment Syrian military forces. 
 
Additionally, OFAC designated Ihab Makhluf, the brother of Rami Makhluf and a cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, pursuant to E.O. 13572 for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, and acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Rami Makhluf.  Ihab Makhluf was also designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, and acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Syriatel.  Ihab Makhluf, the Vice Chairman of Syrian mobile phone provider Syriatel, which is owned by Rami Makhluf and was previously designated by OFAC, has helped Rami Makhluf evade sanctions by moving his assets overseas.
 
Support to Government of Syria
 
OFAC today also designated Iyad Makhluf, another brother of Rami Makhluf and cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, pursuant to E.O. 13582 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, and materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of the Government of Syria.  Iyad Makhluf has helped the Government of Syria evade international sanctions.  OFAC also designated Damascus-based Cham Islamic Bank for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, and materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of the Government of Syria. 
 
Persons Affiliated with the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) and Organization for Technological Industries
 
Finally, pursuant to E.O. 13382, OFAC today designated Muhammed Bin-Muhammed Faris Quwaydir, SSRC Contracts Director, for acting for or on behalf of SSRC, the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them.  OFAC also designated Syrian Company for Information Technology (SCIT), for being owned or controlled by previously-designated Organization for Technological Industries (OTI), a subsidiary of the Syrian Ministry of Defense. 
 
For identifying information on the individuals and entities that were listed today, click here.
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