On 16 October 2014, the US Treasury Department announced the designation of Qusay Mihoub, a Brigadier General in the Syrian Air Force Intelligence (“SAFI”), pursuant to E.O. 13572, which authorises sanctions against persons determined to be responsible for or complicit in the commission of human rights abuses in Syria. According to the Treasury Department, Brigadier General Mihoub was placed in command of SAFI’s Daraa Branch at the outbreak of the Syrian protests in 2011, at which position he was responsible for the shooting, beating, detainment, torturing and burning alive of hundreds of civilians.
Two ministers of the Syrian government were designated pursuant to E.O. 13573. Khodr Orfali is the Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, and Kamal Eddin Tu’ma is the Syrian Minister of Industry.
Two Cypriot companies, Piruseti Enterprises Ltd. and Frumineti Investments Ltd., their directors Issa al- Zeydi and Ioannis Ioannou and a Lebanese company, DK Group Sari and its general manager, Jad Dagher, have been designated pursuant to E.O. 13582 for providing material assistance and support to the Syrian regime. The Treasury Department states that these individuals, through their companies, worked with a Russian bank previously sanctioned by the United States, Tempbank, and a Russia-based currency printer, Goznak, to print and deliver to Syria highly-secure banknotes denominated in Syrian pounds. More generally, Piruseti and Frumineti are alleged to perform as front companies and procurement agents for the Syrian government.
Four Syria-based banks were identified by the Treasury Department as being owned or controlled by the Government of Syria and, consequently, are now subject to blocking sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13582. The banks are the Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Industrial Bank, Popular Credit Bank and Saving Bank.