U.S. Treasury Designates Houthi Finance Network

Treasury designates international network funding Houthi activity in Yemen.

The U.S. Treasury Department exposed more elements of the Houthi’s international finance network on Wednesday by designating individuals and entities affiliated with the Iran-backed militant group.

Treasury described the designated individuals and entities as being involved with “the U.S.-designated Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and Houthi financier Sa’id al-Jamal, this network has transferred tens of millions of dollars to Yemen via a complex international network of intermediaries in support of the Houthis’ attacks.”

According to Treasury, Abdo Abdullah Dael Ahmed and Konstantinos Stavridis assisted OFAC designated and Iran-based Houthi financial supporter, Sa’id al-Jamal, in generating “tens of millions of dollars” for the Houthis.

Both ran the money through different operations. Ahmed transferred money to the Houthis via Yemen-based Moaz Abdalla Dael Import and Export, a company he operated and used to partner with al-Jamal and other Treasury-designated affiliates.

Stavridis-owned Fani Oil Trading FZE purchased fuel from al-Jamal and the revenue made from the purchases was used to fund Houthi activity. Additionally, Treasury alleged “Fani Oil has created fraudulent shipping documents to facilitate the sale and shipment of gasoline worth tens of millions of dollars.”

Due to the activities mentioned above, Treasury designated Ahmed and Stavridis under 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, Sa’id al-Jamal.” Fani Oil Trading FZE was also designated under E.O. 13224.

Treasury also exposed and acted against several exchange houses and shipping companies involved in the Houthi’s financial network.

Turkey-based exchange house Garanti Ihracat Ithalat Kuyumculuk Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi “facilitated millions of dollars’ worth of transactions for al-Jamal, including transfers in support of oil shipments to China and Syria,” according to Treasury.

Aurum Ship Management FZC was implicated by Treasury for generating “millions of dollars in profit while managing ships connected to al-Jamal and Mahamud, including the St. Kitts and Nevis-flagged Light Moon, formerly known as the Three, and the Triple Success, which Treasury previously identified as a vessel in which al-Jamal has an interest.”

Due to these activities, Sirketi and Aurum Ship Management were designated by Treasury under E.O. 13224.

Other Treasury designated individuals and entities not mentioned above are Kumar Chiranjeev Singh, Al Foulk Trading Co., Al Hadha Exchange Co., Al Alamiyah Express Company for Exchange and Remittance, JJO General Trading, Gida Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi, Peridot Shipping and Trading LLC, and Light Moon.  

Despite the de-listing of the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the Department of State more than a year ago, the Biden administration has continued to target individuals and entities involved with the Iran-backed group.

Pressure from Gulf countries and other U.S. allies in the region to re-list the Houthis as a FTO after a number of high-profile attacks may have played a part in these designations. As of now, the Biden administration has signaled it is considering re-listing the Houthis but has yet to make an official decision on the potential designation.

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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