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OFAC adds 17 Saudis to Magnitsky sanctions list

Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal KhashoggiThe U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated three Saudi officials and 14 members of a hit team for their role in murdering Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

OFAC sanctioned Saud al-Qahtani, a top advisor to the royal family, along with his assistant, Maher Mutreb.

Al-Qahtani “was part of the planning and execution of the operation that led to the killing of Mr. Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018,” OFAC said.

Mutreb “coordinated” the murder plan, according to OFAC.

Also named to the Global Magnitsky list was Saudi Arabia’s Consul General in Turkey, Mohammed Alotaibi. He was in charge of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul when Khashoggi was killed.

Fourteen other “members of an operations team” were sanctioned “for having a role” in the killing.

“These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions,” OFAC said.

Thursday’s OFAC designations came in an Executive Order (E.O. 13818) under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

The Global Magnitsky Act became law in December 2017. It targets “perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.”

The 14 others named Thursday are:

Salah Tubaigy
Meshal Albostan
Naif Alarifi
Mohammed Alzahrani
Mansour Abahussain
Khalid Alotaibi
Abdulaziz Alhawsawi
Waleed Alsehri
Thaar Alharbi
Fahad Albalawi
Badr Alotaibi
Mustafa Almadani
Saif Alqahtani, and
Turki Alsehri. 

“All of these individuals are designated for being responsible for, or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse,” OFAC said.

As a result of the OFAC designations, any property or interests in property of the individuals within or transiting U.S. jurisdiction is blocked. 

U.S. persons are generally prohibited from doing any business with blocked persons, including entities 50 percent or more owned by the designated persons.

With Thursday’s action, OFAC has sanctioned 101 individuals and entities under the Global Magnitsky Act.

Identifying information about the 17 Saudis designated Thursday is here.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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