The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has taken a significant step by imposing sanctions on key members, operatives, and financial facilitators associated with the Hamas terrorist group. These sanctions targeted individuals and entities operating not only in Gaza but also in several locations, including Sudan, Turkey, Algeria, and Qatar.
This action by OFAC is primarily aimed at disrupting the financial underpinnings of Hamas, particularly honing in on its secretive investment portfolio, a financial facilitator based in Qatar with close ties to the Iranian regime, a crucial Hamas commander, and a Gaza-based virtual currency exchange along with its operator. These measures are part of a broader commitment by the United States to curb Hamas’s revenue sources, extending beyond the West Bank and Gaza to cover the entire region, all carried out in close collaboration with regional partners and allies.
Until now, the U.S. Treasury Department’s efforts have resulted in the targeting of almost 1,000 individuals and entities with connections to terrorism and terrorist financing, particularly those affiliated with the Iranian regime and groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Iran-aligned terrorist organizations operating in the region.
OFAC and Hamas Virtual Currency Fundraising
Hamas, a well-known Palestinian terrorist organization, is notorious for its financial support from Iran and its intricate global investment portfolio. These investments yield substantial revenue, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and involve companies operating in various countries, often camouflaging their ties to Hamas.
The recent designations by OFAC build on previous actions taken in May 2022 to target officials and companies associated with Hamas’s secret international investment portfolio, Buy Cash Money and Money Transfer Company (Buy Cash), which is a Gaza-based business that provides money transfer and virtual currency exchange services, including Bitcoin. Buy Cash is highlighted for its involvement in a Hamas fundraising campaign that included virtual currency wallets seized by Israel’s National Bureau for Counter-Terrorist Financing.
According to the OFAC’s announcement, Buy Cash has been used to transfer funds by affiliates in other terrorist groups. For example, the wallet address 19D1iGzDr7FyAdiy3ZZdxMd6ttHj1kj6WW belonging to Buy Cash received a Bitcoin transfer equivalent to over $2,000, which was facilitated by a Türkiye-based money services business operator and al-Qa’ida affiliate.
Scorechain blockchain AML and compliance solution flagged the address 19D1iGzDr7FyAdiy3ZZdxMd6ttHj1kj6WW with several risk indicators including terrorism, darkweb, scam, sanction list, and more.
The recent OFAC sanctions on Hamas facilitators mark a significant step in the United States strategy to target and disrupt the group’s financial operations. These actions carried out in close cooperation with international partners, aim to prevent Hamas from using funds to carry out acts of terror and violence.
OFAC sanctions and Scorechain blockchain AML and Compliance solution
Scorechain’s users can easily identify crypto addresses associated with sanctions and keep tabs on funds linked to OFAC designations using risk indicators and risk scoring. This empowers compliance teams to steer clear of precarious addresses and funds, enabling them to promptly report any suspicious transactions to the relevant authorities.
Furthermore, to enhance the sanction screening process, Scorechain offers:
- Configurable indicators that automatically raise red flags in case of connections to specific activities.
- In-depth analyses of incoming and outgoing crypto funds involving relevant entities.
- The Exploration Tool, which enables the verification of links with OFAC-sanctioned entities.
If you’re interested in exploring how our solutions help your compliance procedures, we invite you to request a demo now!
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