U.S. Department of the Treasury
Office of Public Affairs
Press Release: February 26, 2020
Contact: Treasury Public Affairs, (202) 622-2960
Washington – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) three Lebanon-based officials and 12 Lebanon-based entities linked to the Martyrs Foundation, part of Hizballah’s support network. Specifically, OFAC designated Atlas Holding for being owned or controlled by the Martyrs Foundation, as well as senior Atlas official Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi, and ten Atlas-affiliated companies. Jawad Nur-al-Din and Sheikh Yusuf Aasi were also designated, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, for being leaders or officials of the Lebanon-based Martyrs Foundation, which was designated for supporting terrorism in July 2007. Mirath S.A.L., which is owned or controlled by Jawad Nur-al-Din, was also designated today.
“Hizballah profits from the sale of goods vital to the Lebanese peoples’ health and economy, such as pharmaceuticals and gasoline,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The Trump Administration stands with the Lebanese people, and we are committed to exposing and holding accountable Hizballah’s terror-funding business schemes.”
Hizballah put the Lebanese banking sector at risk through its deep coordination with Jammal Trust Bank, which was designated as an SDGT in August 2019. Atlas Holding — a company controlled by the Martyrs Foundation and subordinate to Hizballah’s Executive Council — along with several of its subsidiaries banked freely at Jammal Trust Bank despite their open affiliation with previously designated Hizballah entities. In fact, Jammal Trust Bank facilitated hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions through the Lebanese financial system on behalf of Atlas Holding and its subsidiaries, and aided Hizballah officials in evading scrutiny on these accounts from Lebanese banking authorities.
Hizballah was designated by the Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in October 1997 and as an SDGT pursuant to E.O. 13224 in October 2001. As noted in previous Treasury actions, the Lebanon office of the Martyrs Foundation acts as an Iranian parastatal organization and is an integral element of Hizballah’s global terror support network. It provides services such as financial support to the families of killed or imprisoned Hizballah members, as well as to families of suicide bombers from HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Atlas Holding is owned or controlled by the Martyrs Foundation.
Atlas Holding owns or controls at least ten companies in numerous sectors in Lebanon, including fuel, pharmaceuticals, tourism, and clothing. According to corporate registration information, the Martyrs Foundation and its senior official Sheikh Yusuf Aasi are listed as founders of Atlas Holdings. As of late 2017, Atlas was among several entities identified as being subordinate to Hizballah’s Executive Council, which takes advantage of its entities’ legitimate and civilian appearance to conceal money transfers for Hizballah’s military use. Although the funding from these Executive Council companies went into Hizballah’s coffers and military activities, Hizballah hoped that the seemingly legitimate business funds could protect Hizballah from sanctions.
KASSEM MOHAMAD ALI BAZZI
Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi is a leader or official of Atlas Holding.
Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi serves as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Atlas Holding as of 2019, and is the company’s largest shareholder. Additionally, according to corporate registration information, he serves as an official for several of Atlas Holdings’ subsidiaries, including Amana, Amana Plus, Medic, Shahed Pharm, City Pharma, al Kawthar, and Global Touristic Services.
Jawad Nur-al-Din is a leader and official of the Martyrs Foundation.
Jawad Nur-al-Din serves as the Director General of the Lebanon-based Martyrs Foundation. In this capacity, he oversees payments to the families of Hizballah fighters who have been killed, and has coordinated these payments with senior Hizballah officials such as SDGT Hashim Safi al-Din. As a senior official of the Lebanon-based Martyrs Foundation, he works closely with senior Hizballah officials and publicly represents the Martyrs Foundation alongside senior Hizballah officials including Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Hashim Safi al-Din was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 in May 2017. Hassan Nasrallah was designated pursuant to E.O. 12947 in January 1995, pursuant to E.O. 13582 in September 2012, and pursuant to E.O. 13224 in 2018.
SHEIKH YUSUF AASI
Sheikh Yusuf Aasi is a leader or official of the Martyrs Foundation.
In his role with the Martyrs Foundation, Sheikh Yusuf Aasi has publicly advocated for the foundation in light of U.S. sanctions against Hizballah and the rising number of Hizballah operatives killed in Syria. Additionally, Sheikh Yusuf Aasi is one of the founders of Atlas Holdings, which is being designated today for being owned or controlled by the Martyrs Foundation.
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT & DRUGS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION (MEDIC)
Medic is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding. According to corporate registration information, founders of Medic include both Atlas and Bazzi. Atlas is the majority shareholder for the company, and Bazzi, who holds fewer shares, serves as the Director General, Chairman, and authorized signatory for the company.
Shahed Pharm is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding. According to corporate registration information, senior Martyrs Foundation official Jawad Nur-al-Din is listed as one of its founders, along with Atlas Holdings, and Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi is listed as a shareholder, director, and authorized signatory for the company.
AMANA FUEL CO.
Amana Fuel Co. is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding. According to corporate registration information, Atlas Holdings controls the majority of shares in the company, and Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi is listed as a founder, director, and authorized signatory for the company.
AMANA PLUS CO.
Amana Plus Co. is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding. According to corporate registration information, Atlas Holdings is a founder of, and the largest shareholder for, Amana Plus Co. Jawad Nur-al-Din and Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi are also listed as company founders, with Bazzi also serving as the Director General, Chairman, and authorized signatory of the company.
Al Kawthar is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding. Also of note, corporate registration information lists Atlas Holding and Martyrs Foundation CEO Jawad Nur-al-Din as founder of Al Kawthar, and Atlas is a majority shareholder in the company.
AMANA SANITARY AND PAINTS COMPANY L.T.D.
Amana Sanitary and Paints Company L.T.D. is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding. According to corporate registration information, Atlas and Jawad Nur-al-Din are both founders of the company, with the majority of the company’s stock being allocated to Atlas.
CITY PHARMA S.A.R.L.
City Pharma S.A.R.L. is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding. According to corporate registration information, Atlas is a founder of the company along with Jawad Nur-al-Din, and Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi was the authorized signatory for the company.
GLOBAL TOURISTIC SERVICES S.A.L.
Global Touristic Services S.A.L. is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding. According to corporate registration information, the company was founded by Atlas, Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi, and Jawad Nur-al-Din. Additionally, Atlas is the majority shareholder in the company, Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi is the authorized signatory, and Jawad Nur-al-Din and Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi are members of the board of directors.
Mirath is owned or controlled by Jawad Nur-al-Din. According to corporate registration information, Jawad Nur-al-Din is the chairman of the board, majority shareholder, as well as a founder of, and authorized signatory for, Mirath S.A.L.
SANOVERA PHARM COMPANY SARL
Sanovera Pharm Company SARLis owned or controlled by Atlas Holding.
Capital S.A.L. is owned or controlled by Atlas Holding.
The Treasury Department continues to prioritize disrupting the full range of Hizballah’s illicit financial activity, including its financial support network.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons. In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action.
Furthermore, the individuals and entities designated today are subject to secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended. Pursuant to this authority, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution.