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July 13, 2008 

OFAC Adds Syria Mobile Phone Operator and Duty Free Stores to SDN List

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added Syriatel, Syria's largest mobile phone operator, and Ramak, a chain of duty free stores in Syria, to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List).

According to Treasury, these companies were added to the SDN List because they are least 50% owned by Rami Makhluf, a cousin of Syrian president Bashar al-Asad, who is well connected to the Syrian Government. Makhluf was designated by OFAC on February 21, 2008 pursuant to Executive Order 13460, which targets individuals and entities determined to have contributed to, or to have benefited from, the public corruption of senior officials of the Syrian regime.

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