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Treasury targets tanker as Venezuela sanctions tighten

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Friday designated two companies operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy as subject to U.S. sanctions. Additionally, OFAC identified one vessel, which transported oil from Venezuela to Cuba, as blocked property that is owned by one of these companies.

“Cuba has been an underlying force fueling Venezuela’s descent into crisis. Treasury is taking action against vessels and entities transporting oil, providing a lifeline to keep the illegitimate Maduro regime afloat,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Cuba continues to profit from, and prop up, the illegitimate Maduro regime through oil-for-repression schemes as they attempt to keep Maduro in power. The United States remains committed to a transition to democracy in Venezuela and to holding the Cuban regime accountable for its direct involvement in Venezuela’s demise.”

The ship in question is the Despina Andrianna (IMO: 9182667) a 71,637 dwt, Liberian flagged crude oil tanker that, according to the Treasury, delivered crude oil from Venezuela to Cuba during February and March of 2019.

The two companies are the vessel’s registered owner, Ballito Bay Shipping Incorporated, and its manager, Piraeus based ProPer In Management Incorporated. Although the Treasury identifies Ballito Bay Shipping as being registered in Monrovia, Liberia, the Equasis data base shows its address as being in care of ProPer In Management. The Equasis data base lists no other ships as being owned by Ballito Bay or managed by ProPer In Management.

Separately, OFAC also identified 34 vessels (two drill ships and 32 tugs) as being blocked property of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), which was designated on January 28, 2019, for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy.

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