Today, the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned several individuals and entities connected to Hamas.
US authorities took this step to undermine Hamas’s sources of revenue. Especially in regions spanning from West Bank and Gaza to Sudan, Turkey, Algeria, and Qatar.
US Treasury Sanctions Crypto Exchange Linked to Hamas
The OFAC’s sanctions specifically targeted those managing Hamas’s clandestine investment portfolio. The list includes Musa Muhammad Salim Dudin, a representative of Hamas’s Political Bureau and Investment Office, and Abdelbasit Hamza Elhassan Mohamed Khair, a Sudan-based Hamas financier with a history of multi-million dollar transactions favoring the terror outfit.
Another four operatives, Amer Kamal Sharif Alshawa, Ahmed Sadu Jahleb, Aiman Ahmad Al-Duwaik, and Walid Mohammed Mustafa Jadallah, were also designated for their crucial roles within Hamas’s investment network in Turkey and Algeria. Moreover, a Qatar-based Hamas affiliate with close Iranian connections, Muhammad Ahmad ‘Abd Al-Dayim Nasrallah, and Ayman Nofal, a central figure in Hamas’s military operations, were also targeted.
A significant development includes a Gaza-based crypto exchange. Indeed, “Buy Cash Money and Money Transfer Company” (Buy Cash) and its chief operator, Ahmed M. M. Alaqad, also faced sanctions. The move underscores the Treasury’s efforts in tracking crypto linked to terror activities.
Read more: Why US Anti-Crypto Bill Could Pass Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict
Under the sanctions, the US froze assets that belong to the designated individuals or entities under its jurisdiction. It also prohibits US individuals from engaging in transactions with them. Additionally, companies and individuals that continue to associate with these sanctioned entities might find themselves at risk of US sanctions.
Secretary of the Treasury, Janet L. Yellen, emphasized the unwavering commitment of the US in curtailing terror financing.
“The US Treasury has a long history of effectively disrupting terror finance and we will not hesitate to use our tools against Hamas. We will continue to take all steps necessary to deny Hamas terrorists the ability to raise and use funds to carry out atrocities and terrorize the people of Israel,” Yellen said.
Although the US Treasury continues the efforts to dismantle financial channels supporting terror outfits, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic stated that OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List) includes only one specific Bitcoin address linked to Buy Cash.
Yet, Elliptic company has identified several other addresses the crypto exchange employs across Bitcoin and different blockchains.
“Our research has found that these addresses have received cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Tether, worth more than $25 million since 2015,” Elliptic said.
Read more: Why the Israel-Gaza War Makes Bitcoin a Good Bet
It is worth noting that after several freezing orders, Hamas informed its supporters that it would not accept crypto donations. In April 2023, Hamas emphasized that crypto made its funds easily traceable and susceptible to seizure.
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