US sanctions companies linked to Venezuela oil trade

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The United States Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Monday June 2, 2020, designated four companies for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy.

Additionally, OFAC identified four vessels as blocked property. “Department of Treasury The United States reiterates that the exploitation of Venezuela’s oil assets for the benefit of the illegitimate regime of President Nicolas Maduro is unacceptable, and those that facilitate such activity risk losing access to the U.S. financial system,” The US Department of Treasury said.

“The illegitimate Maduro regime has enlisted the help of maritime companies and their vessels to continue the exploitation of Venezuela’s natural resources for the regime’s profit,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to target those who support this corrupt regime and contribute to the suffering of the Venezuelan people.”

The Department of Treasury said Monday’s action, pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended, further targets Venezuela’s oil sector, which continues to provide financial resources to the illegitimate regime of President Maduro:

  • AFRANAV MARITIME LTD is based in the Marshall Islands and is the registered owner of the vessel ATHENS VOYAGER.
    • ATHENS VOYAGER is a Panamanian flagged crude oil tanker (IMO: 9337391) that has continued to lift oil cargoes from Venezuelan ports as recently as mid-February 2020.
  • SEACOMBER LTD is based in Greece and is the registered owner of the vessel CHIOS I.
    • CHIOS I is a Maltese flagged crude oil tanker (IMO: 9792187) that has continued to lift oil cargoes from Venezuelan ports as recently as mid to late February 2020.
  • ADAMANT MARITIME LTD is based in the Marshall Islands and is the registered owner of the vessel SEAHERO.
    • SEAHERO is a Bahamian flagged crude oil tanker (IMO: 9315642) that has continued to lift oil cargoes from Venezuelan ports as recently as late February 2020.
  • SANIBEL SHIPTRADE LTD is based in the Marshall Islands and is the registered owner of the vessel VOYAGER I.
    • VOYAGER I is a Marshall Islands flagged crude oil tanker (IMO 9233789) that has continued to lift oil cargoes from Venezuelan ports as recently as late April 2020.

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the designated entities are also blocked. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or those within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

The Department of Treasury said U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior. The United States has made clear that the removal of sanctions is available for individuals and entities designated under E.O. 13850, as amended, who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, refuse to take part in human rights abuses, speak out against abuses committed by the illegitimate Maduro regime, cease involvement in the oil, gold, financial, or defense and security sectors of the Venezuelan economy, or combat corruption in Venezuela.

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