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Abou Merhi cleared by U.S. Treasury
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The U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has removed Abou Merhi Group, related individuals, and subsidiaries from its sanctions list.

Merhi Abou Merhi and his group of companies were placed on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List in October 2015. The Treasury said then that Abou Merhi had ties to a maritime network tied to “Joumaa Criminal Organization,” which is linked to Hezbollah.

Abou Merhi is a renowned businessman who owns the Orient Queen cruise ships.

John E. Smith, Acting Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control said at the time that “Merhi Ali Abou Merhi operates an extensive maritime shipping business that enables the Joumaa network’s illicit money laundering activity and widespread narcotics trafficking.”

His subsidiaries – also removed from the list – include Abou Merhi Cruises, Abou Merhi Charity Institution, Abou Merhi Cotonou, Abou Merhi Hamburg, Abou Merhi Hospitality, Abou Merhi Lines, Abou Merhi Nigeria, and Le Mall Saida.

Individuals who are linked to Abou Merhi and whose names have been removed from the list are Atef, Hana, and Huweida Abou Merhi, Wajdi Nasr, and Ahmad Bizri.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: May 10, 2017