For immediate release | Monday, November 30, 2015

CEP Applauds OFAC Designation of Syrian Businessman George Haswani for Facilitation of ISIS Oil Trade

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CEP called for Designation of Haswani in March 18 letter to U.S. Treasury

(New York, NY) – The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) today applauded the U.S. Department of the Treasury for sanctioning Syrian businessman George Haswani for his role in arranging Syrian regime oil purchases from the terrorist group ISIS.  

Following its investigation into ISIS’s oil trading with the Bashar al-Assad regime, CEP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace on March 18, 2015 wrote to John E. Smith, Acting Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requesting OFAC’s examination into George Haswani’s alleged activities. 

“The alleged activities of Haswani and HESCO in supporting violent extremist groups such as ISIS clearly merits a robust and immediate response,” Wallace wrote. “We hope OFAC will take appropriate action to disrupt the alleged ISIS-related business activities of Haswani, HESCO and its affiliated entities and subsidiaries. In doing so, OFAC will severely degrade the ability of extremist “enablers” such as Haswani to facilitate ISIS’s illicit oil trade and establish a powerful precedent and deterrent for others seeking to put profits before international peace and security."

Wallace wrote Haswani directly on March 6, 2015, posing a series of questions regarding his alleged activities and the activities of his company, HESCO engineering, in illicit oil and gas trading  between the Assad regime and ISIS.

“The purpose of this letter is to convey our deepest concern regarding the apparent involvement of your company, HESCO Engineering & Construction Co.’s (“HESCO”), in the illicit oil trade between the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS” a.k.a. “ISIL” a.k.a. IS”) and the Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad,” Wallace wrote. “It appears that you and your company HESCO play an indispensable role in facilitating financial support to ISIS.”

George Haswani responded to CEP’s letter with a letter delivered to CEP by facsimile on March 23, 2015.  In that letter, Mr. Haswani purports to clarify his company’s involvement with the Nusra Front, ISIS and the Assad regime. 

Click here to read the March 18, 2015 CEP letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Click here to read the March 6 CEP letter to George Haswani. 

Click here to read the March 23 letter from Haswani to CEP.