US Imposes Sanctions on Smugglers Network Threatening Libya

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On Thursday, the United States imposed financial sanctions on a network of three major smugglers, contributing to the instability in Libya.

These individuals include Faysal Al-Wadi, operator of the vessel Maraya, and his two associates, Musbah Mohamad Wadi, and Noureddin Milood Musbah. Sanctions were also placed on the Malta-based company, Alwefq Ltd.

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated Al-Wadi pursuant to Executive Order. It also identified the vessel Maraya, as blocked property.

Consequently, all assets belonging to these persons, including the identified vessel, found to be in the possession or control of US persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC.

Al-Wadi has worked with a network of contacts in North Africa, and southern Europe to smuggle fuel and illicit drugs to Malta, via Libya. Competition for control of smuggling routes, oil facilities, and transport nodes is a key driver of the conflict in Libya.

Al-Wadi’s illicit trafficking operation used the Libyan port of Zuwarah, and the maritime location known as Hurds Bank, just outside of Malta’s territorial waters. Hurds Bank is a well-known geographic transfer point, for illicit maritime transactions.

Today’s sanctions show that the United States will take concrete actions in response to those who undermine Libya’s peace, security, and stability.