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Treasury sanctions 10 people, companies, ship tied to Houthis

"The Houthis continue to leverage an expansive support network to facilitate their illicit activities," said U.S. under secretary Brian Nelson.

The “USS Carney” guided-missile destroyer defeats a combination of Houthi missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea on Oct. 19, 2023. Credit: U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Lau.
The “USS Carney” guided-missile destroyer defeats a combination of Houthi missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles in the Red Sea on Oct. 19, 2023. Credit: U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Lau.

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned 10 individuals, companies and ships that “have engaged in the illicit transport of oil and other commodities, including for the network of Houthi financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal.”

The sanctions target “maritime shipping and financial facilitators, several vessel managers and owners, and a company involved in forging shipping documents,” per the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Today’s action, the seventh round of sanctions targeting the network of Sa’id al-Jamal since October 2023, underscores the U.S. government’s commitment to isolating and disrupting the financing of international terrorist groups such as the Houthis,” it said.

“The Houthis continue to leverage an expansive support network to facilitate their illicit activities, including hiding the origin of cargo, forging shipping documents, and providing services to sanctioned vessels,” stated Brian Nelson, the U.S. under secretary of the Treasury.

Among those sanctioned were the shipping firm Shark International Shipping (United Arab Emirates and Oman) and its managing director, John Britto Aruldhas; and Rayyan Shipping (India), and its captain Vivek Ashok Pandey.

‘Abdallah Najib Ahmad al-Jamal, who runs the Sa’id al-Jamal network’s money laundering operation; Lainey Shipping (Hong Kong) and its Panama-flagged ship JANET; Louis Marine Shipholding Enterprises (Panama) and its Panama-flagged BELLA 1; and Sandeep Singh Choudhary, master of the ship LA PEARL, were also sanctioned.

“This is a first for the Biden administration to sanction captains,” wrote Jason Brodsky, policy director at United Against Nuclear Iran.

On Sunday, U.S. Central Command stated that Houthis, backed by Iran, launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles from Yemen in the prior 24 hours. One missile struck “M/V Tavvishi, a Liberian-flagged, Swiss-owned and operated container ship,” which “reported damage but has continued underway,” CENTCOM said.

The second missile “was successfully destroyed by a coalition ship,” CENTCOM added. “There were no injuries reported by U.S., coalition or merchant vessels.”

CENTCOM also said on Sunday that Houthis had launched another anti-ship ballistic missile and an anti-ship cruise missile into the Gulf of Aden.

“Both missiles struck M/V Norderney, an Antigua and Barbados flagged, German-owned and operated cargo ship” that “reported damage but has continued underway,” CENCOM said. “There were no injuries reported by U.S., coalition or merchant vessels.”

CENTCOM also “successfully destroyed one un-crewed aerial system over the Gulf of Aden” and its forces “successfully destroyed two Houthi land attack cruise missiles and one missile launcher in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen,” it said.

“It was determined these systems presented an imminent threat to U.S., coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region,” CENTCOM said. “This action was taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for U.S., coalition and merchant vessels.”

Gerald Steinberg, founder of NGO Monitor, wrote on Monday that there is “no evidence that these limited sanctions are deterring either the Houthi leadership or their Iranian regime backers.”

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