February 21
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The U.S. District Court of Columbia has brought charges against five Russian citizens, including one of Armenian descent, alleging that they conspired to violate U.S. economic sanctions against Syria by sending jet fuel to Syria and making U.S. dollar wires to Syria and to sanctioned entities in Syria without receiving a license from the U.S. Treasury Department. 

Eight businessmen, including five Russian nationals and three Syrian nationals were indicted on Tuesday on federal charges, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

The five Russian nationals – Ivan Okorokov, Ilya Loginov, Karen Stepanyan, Alexey Konkov and Liudmila Shmelkova – are employees of Sovfracht.

“All eight individuals were charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments,” the statement said.

Yaser Naser is a Syrian national who has worked in Sovfracht in Syria to coordinate its business there, while Farid Bitar and Gabriel Bitar are petroleum inspectors at Syrian Port Banias.

The defendants may face up to 25 years in prison.

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