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Khodr Taher Bin Ali

Known Also As: Al-Jaja; Khodr, Abou Ali; Khodr, Abu Ali; Taher, Khader Ali; Taher, Kheder Ali; Taher, Khider Ali; Taher, Khodr Ali; Ak-Khudur, Khudhur Taher”; Jijeh, Abu Ali

Country: Syria;

Address: Damascus, Syria;

Born: 1976;

Nationality: Syria;

Khodr Taher Bin Ali (Taher) is a Syrian businessman who serves as a prominent local intermediary and contractor for the designated Fourth Division of the Syrian Arab Army (Fourth Division). The Fourth Division is an elite military unit, led by Maher al-Assad, the brother of Bashar al-Assad, that was founded to protect the regime from internal and external threats. On April 29, 2011, the President included Bashar al-Assad and Maher al-Assad in the Annex to E.O. 13572, Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to Human Rights Abuses in Syria.” On January 12, 2017, OFAC identified the Syrian Arab Army as falling within the definition of the Government of Syria, as set forth in E.O. 13582 and the Syrian Sanctions Regulations. On June 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of State designated Bashar al-Assad, Maher al-Assad, and the Fourth Division pursuant to E.O. 13894.

In 2017, Taher established Castle Security and Protection LLC, a private security company that has become the informal executive arm of the Fourth Division’s Security Bureau and is responsible for providing convoy protection at Fourth Division checkpoints. Taher was also chosen to direct the collection of fees at checkpoints and internal crossings between regime and opposition areas, as well as crossings with Lebanon. In addition to Castle Security and Protection LLC, Taher has reportedly established a number of other companies that are allegedly being used to obscure and launder money collected illicitly at regime crossings and through looting. These crossings into opposition areas have generated huge sums for regime officials, and in one example, most of the sums made reportedly went to Maher al-Assad.

Taher and his company, Castle Security and Protection LLC, were both designated today pursuant to E.O. 13582 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods and services in support of, the Government of Syria. Castle Security and Protection LLC was additionally designated for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Taher.

In 2019, Taher founded Emma Tel LLC, a telecommunications provider that now has over 20 locations around Syria, where it sells mobile phone equipment and provides related services. Bashar al-Assad’s wife, Asma al-Assad, allegedly ordered the establishment of Emma Tel LLC in order to create alternatives to the business empire of Rami Makhlouf, the cousin of Bashar al-Assad, and to break the dominance of the Makhlouf-owned Syriatel Mobile Telecom on the Syrian telecommunications market. Despite the reported linkages to Asma Al-Assad, Taher established Emma Tel LLC and owns 100 percent of its shares. Furthermore, Taher recently established Ella Media Services LLC, an advertisement company that was awarded a license to manage Syria’s largest billboard advertising network.

Emma Tel LLC and Ella Media Services LLC were designated today pursuant to E.O. 13582 for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Taher. Today, OFAC also issued a general license authorizing persons to wind down transactions prohibited by the Syrian Sanctions Regulations involving Emma Tel LLC, or any entity in which Emma Tel LLC owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, for 90 days, as well as an FAQ which provides further guidance on the scope of the general license and the wind down of transactions involving Emma Tell LLC. On June 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of State designated Asma Al-Assad pursuant to E.O. 13894.

Taher is also involved in a joint venture with the Syrian Transport and Tourism Company named Syrian Hotel Management LLC. Taher owns two-thirds of the shares of the joint venture, while Syrian Transport and Tourism Company owns the remaining shares. The Syrian Transport and Tourism Company itself is owned 67 percent by the Syrian Ministry of Tourism.

At this moment, no connections were found with this entity.

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