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US sanctions funding for Houthis amid Red Sea threats

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The US sanctioned one person and three money exchanges it said have helped transfer millions of dollars to the Houthis on behalf of Iran.

An Israeli navy missile boat patrols in the Red Sea off the coast of Israel's southern port city of Eliat.(AFP)
An Israeli navy missile boat patrols in the Red Sea off the coast of Israel’s southern port city of Eliat.(AFP)

The action Thursday comes as the Yemen-based militant group’s attacks on ships transiting the Red Sea have snarled trade in the region, sending half of the container ship fleet that regularly uses the sea and the Suez Canal on much longer routes.

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Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a statement the action “underscores our resolve to restrict the illicit flow of funds to the Houthis, who continue to conduct dangerous attacks on international shipping and risk further destabilizing the region.”

Treasury sanctioned Turkey-based money exchanger Al Aman Kargo Ithalat Ihracat Ve Nakliyat Limited Sirketi, which it said serves as a conduit for Iranian money to the Houthis’ businesses in Yemen. The agency sanctioned Nabco Money Exchange and Remittance Co. in connection with this trade.

Treasury also sanctioned Nabil Ali Ahmed Al-Hadha, the president of the Currency Exchangers Association in Houthi-controlled parts of Sanaa, alleging that he served as a financial intermediary for the Houthis’ Iranian sponsors and helped disguise the source of the funds by converting them into Yemeni rials using Al Rawda Exchange and Money Transfers Company.

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