OFAC identified Blue Energy Trade Limited Company (Blue Energy) as registered in St. Kitts and Nevis, with the address, P.O. Box 556, Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and carrying out transactions on behalf of another company, Milenyum Energy S.A., said to be registered in Panama and operating in Turkey.
According to OFAC, the identified companies have been “responsible for providing energy products used by the Assad regime to continue fueling the ongoing conflict in Syria”. A third company, Ebla Trade Services, is also listed as involved.
Information obtained from the US Department of the Treasury reads, “Blue Energy, a company registered in St. Kitts and Nevis, and Ebla Trade, a Beirut, Lebanon-based company, were designated today pursuant to E.O. 13582 for being owned and controlled by, and having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of and having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial support for, or goods and services in support of, Milenyum. They were also designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, the Government of Syria – and in the case of Ebla Trade, Blue Energy.”
The document states further, “Milenyum uses Blue Energy to receive payments for energy-related shipments through the port of Banias, Syria. As of April 2008, Milenyum worked with Ebla Trade and Blue Energy to facilitate payments related to commercial vessel shipments of petroleum products to Syria.”
It continued, “In early April 2015, Milenyum employees worked with Blue Energy and Ebla Trade to arrange for the Tala, a vessel that is owned and controlled by Milenyum, to discharge LPG valued at over $1.2 million in Banias, Syria. Blue Energy shipped the LPG and Ebla Trade cosigned it. In mid-March 2015, Milenyum received payment through Blue Energy for a shipment of several thousand metric tons of LPG likely destined for Banias, Syria.”
It is understood that OFAC’s Syrian Sanctions Regulations authorizes certain exports and re-exports of items such as food, medicine, and medical devices to Syria as well as related services.
“The Treasury will continue to employ its robust financial tools to weaken Assad’s support network,” said Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin.
He added, “These targeted sanctions intensify the economic and financial pressure on the Syrian government to cease its campaign of violence against its people.”