Libyan smugglers with Malta company slapped by US sanctions

Faysal al-Wadi, operator of the vessel Maraya, works with network of contacts in North Africa and Europe to smuggle fuel and drugs through Malta

Hurd’s Bank is a well-known geographic transfer location for illicit maritime transactions
Hurd’s Bank is a well-known geographic transfer location for illicit maritime transactions

The United States has imposed financial sanctions on a network of Libyan smugglers with a presence in Malta.

They include Libyan national Faysal al-Wadi, operator of the vessel Maraya, and his two associates, Musbah Mohamad M Wadi, and Nourddin Milood M Musba, and the Malta-based company, Alwefq Ltd.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified the vessel Maraya as blocked property.

Alfewaq was incorporated by the office of auditor Joseph Sammut, who has been charged with creating false companies for Libyan nationals to obtain residence. The shareholders are Musbah Wadi and Nourddin Musbah.

All assets of these persons, including the identified vessel, that are in or come within the United States or are in the possession or control of U.S. persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC.

“Wadi has worked with a network of contacts in North Africa and southern Europe to smuggle fuel from, and illicit drugs through, Libya to Malta,” the OFAC said in a statement.

“Competition for control of smuggling routes, oil facilities, and transport nodes is a key driver of conflict in Libya and deprives the Libyan people of economic resources. Wadi’s illicit trafficking operation transported drugs between the Libyan port of Zuwarah and the maritime location known as Hurd’s Bank, just outside of Malta’s territorial waters.”

Hurd’s Bank is a well-known geographic transfer location for illicit maritime transactions. “Wadi has kept all official documentation clear of his name, while being the primary organizer of smuggling operations using the vessel Maraya. Today’s sanctions show that the United States will take concrete actions in response to those who undermine Libya’s peace, security, or stability,” OFAC said.

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