US sanctions evasion delivering jet fuel to Russian forces in Syria

WASHINGTON, The US designated Thursday one entity, three individuals and five vessels participating in a sanctions evasion scheme to facilitate the delivery of jet fuel to Russian military forces in Syria.

The Treasury?’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a statement that it specifically designated Maritime Assistance LLC, which is a “front company supporting the US-designated company OJSC Sovfracht (Sovfracht), originally designated for operating in Ukraine.” The statement noted that Sovfracht “is behind a sanctions evasion conspiracy, orchestrated by the three individuals designated today, to make payments and facilitate the transfer of supplies of jet fuel to Russian forces operating in Syria in support of the Assad government.” In addition, today OFAC identified five vessels as “blocked property” of Transpetrochart Co. Ltd., a Russian company designated by OFAC in December 2016 for providing material support to Sovfracht.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in this regard that the Treasury is targeting “a sanctions evasion scheme that includes front companies, vessels and conspirators who have been facilitating the illicit transfer of jet fuel to the Russian military in Syria.” She stressed that “Assad?’s despotic regime is under an international spotlight for using chemical weapons and committing atrocities against innocent Syrian civilians, and they rely on these types of illicit networks to stay in power.” “The US is determined to cut off access to the international financial system from those who conspire to violate our sanctions, including those who enable the brutal war machine in Syria,” she stressed.

According to the Treasury, the three individuals being designated today were indicted by the US Department of Justice in June 2018 “as a result of the FBI?’s investigation on charges of conspiracy to violate US economic sanctions for their orchestration of this illicit scheme.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency