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OFAC targets oil broker and business network selling Iranian oil to buyers in East Asia

17 Aug 2021

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Friday (13 August) designated an individual and businesses involved in an international oil smuggling network that supports Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).

Specifically, OFAC said it was targeting Omani oil broker Mahmood Rashid Amur Al Habsi whose companies have transported shipments worth tens of millions of dollars to foreign customers, including buyers in East Asia.

He has worked in partnership with senior IRGC-QF officials, including Rostam Ghasemi, who was previously designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in 2019 for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF, and has managed a vast network of individuals, shipping and oil companies, and vessels to sell Iranian petroleum products for the group’s benefit.

As part of his oversight of shipping operations, Al Habsi has tampered with the automated identification systems that are onboard vessels, forged shipping documents, and paid bribes, circumventing restrictions related to Iran.

As such, Al Habsi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 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.

The Al Habsi business network

Al Habsi used his Oman-based company, Nimr International L.L.C., to facilitate the sale and shipment of Iranian oil in support of the IRGC-QF.  Nimr International L.L.C. is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Al Habsi.

Al Habsi also used Oman-based Orbit Petrochemicals Trading LLC to facilitate Iranian oil deals that obscure the IRGC-QF’s involvement.  Orbit Petrochemicals Trading LLC is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Nimr International L.L.C.

Bravery Maritime Corporation, a Liberian-registered company, is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Al Habsi.  The Liberian-flagged crude oil tanker Oman Pride, which has been used to transport Iranian oil, is being identified as property in which Bravery Maritime Corporation has an interest.

Romania-based Nimr International S.R.L. is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, directly or indirectly, Al Habsi.

 

Photo credit: Diyar Al Maamouri on Unsplash
Published: 17 August, 2021

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