The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on four individuals and six entities it says are providing support to the Syrian government, including a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from so-called Islamic State (IS).

All assets of the sanctioned entities in the US or that are in the control of US persons are frozen and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

IS oil middleman

OFAC designated George Haswani for materially assisting and acting for or on behalf of the government of Syria, and HESCO Engineering and Construction Company (HESCO) for being owned or controlled by Haswani.

Haswani is a Syrian businessman who serves as a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime from IS according to OFAC. HESCO is a Syrian engineering and construction company that operates energy production facilities in Syria, reportedly in areas controlled by IS. The EU added Haswani to its sanctions list in March 2015.

Government-IS links

The US holds the Syrian government responsible for widespread brutality and violence against its own people and on that basis is “continuing to target the finances of all those enabling the Assad regime to continue inflicting violence on the Syrian people.”

The other sanctioned individuals and entities are connected with what the US describes as the “ongoing government of Syria ties to IS,” and include Belize-incorporated Kremsont Commercial Inc.

The US Treasury Department has named Belize as one of several destinations where business associates of IS have laundered money through the use of shell companies.

For identifying information on the individuals and entities newly designated by OFAC, click here.