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U.S. Sanctions UAE-Based Shipmanager for Helping Houthi Rebels

aurum ship management
Courtesy WorldOrgs

Published Feb 24, 2022 11:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury blacklisted a shipmanager for allegedly helping an Iranian-run network to funnel millions of dollars into Yemen for use by the Houthi rebel group. The network, run by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and by Houthi financier Sa’id al-Jamal, has helped underwrite Houthi missile and drone strikes on neighboring countries, according to the Treasury. 

“Despite pleas to negotiate an end to this devastating conflict, Houthi leaders continue to launch missile and unmanned aerial vehicle attacks against Yemen’s neighbors, killing innocent civilians, while millions of Yemeni civilians remain displaced and hungry,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson. 

The Treasury designated ringleader al-Jamal and members of his network last June, and the latest order expands the sanctions designation to cover additional members of his group, including an international shipmanagement company.

The named individuals include three commodity traders, Abdi Nasir Ali Mahamud, Abdo Abdullah Dael Ahmed and Konstantinos Stavridis, who allegedly arranged for illicit purchases of gasoline from al-Jamal. These trades were allegedly facilitated by the shipping company Aurum Ship Management FZC, which is alleged to have generated "millions of dollars in profit" while managing two ships connected to al-Jamal, the Light Moon and the Triple Success.

According to the Treasury, Aurum's employees also bribed flag state authorities to "ignore sanctions-evasion activities by ships in the al-Jamal network." 

Aurum’s managing director, Chiranjeev Kumar Singh, is also designated, along with holding company Peridot Shipping and Trading. 

Aurum's website has been taken offline as of Thursday. In advertising materials posted on seafarers' job portals, the company described itself as a shipmanagement firm focused on "tight cost control," with headquarters in the UAE and offices in India and Nigeria. 

The firm was last in the news in connection with the abandonment of the crew of the tanker Zoya 1 in 2017-18.