Russian Oligarchs

US Sanctions on Broker Expert and Bois Rouge Of Wagner on March 8

Washington’s decision to impose US sanctions on two companies associated with the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC), one based in Russia and the other in the Central African Republic (CAR), underscores growing concerns about Russia’s activities in various regions.

US Sanctions Broker Expert and Bois Rouge Of Wagner

The US sanctions target these entities for their roles in furthering Russia’s malign activities, highlighting the international scope of Wagner’s operations. This move reflects broader efforts by the United States to counter Russian aggression and influence, particularly in conflict zones where private military contractors like Wagner have been active.

By sanctioning these companies, Washington aims to disrupt and deter the activities of Wagner PMC and its affiliated entities, signaling its commitment to addressing security challenges posed by Russian-linked actors around the world.

Tracking Wagner’s forestry business in CAR


Bois Rouge SARLU (Bois Rouge), a.k.a. Wood International Group SARLU, is a Bangui, CAR-based timber company. Established in 2019, it is just one of many Prigozhin-associated companies operating in CAR, which constitutes a vast malign network spanning the spectrum of CAR’s political, economic, and information sectors.

Like other Prigozhin-associated companies in CAR, Bois received a natural resources concession in exchange for the services the Wagner Group provided in CAR. Bois Rouge acquired a timber permit in early 2021 around the same time Wagner Group mercenaries, in conjunction with CAR military forces, seized control of the corresponding area from rebels opposed to the CAR government.

This land is in CAR’s Lobaye prefecture, which is part of the Congo Basin and contains some of the largest undeveloped tracks of rainforest in the world. Bois Rouge has since exported tropical timber species, such as azobe, iroko, mukulungu, sapeli, and tali, to buyers in China, the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. In 2022, Bois Rouge’s name changed to Wood International Group SARLU. 

Limited Liability Company Broker Expert  is a St. Petersburg, Russia-based company with a lengthy track record of supporting Prigozhin’s exploits throughout Africa. Broker Expert has exported goods to several Prigozhin-associated companies, including dozens of shipments to Bois Rouge in CAR, multipurpose vehicles to U.S.-designated Meroe Gold Co. LTD. in Sudan, and helmets to Wagner Group forces in Ukraine. Moreover, Prigozhin’s enterprise had used Broker LLC, among other companies, to regularly move cash to fund malign activities. For example, in Madagascar, a Prigozhin-associated company involved in a joint mining venture with a Malagasy state-owned enterprise received funds from Broker LLC. 

OFAC designated Bois Rouge pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Wagner Group. OFAC designated Broker Expert pursuant to E.O. 14024 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of Bois Rouge. 

Some of it’s activities include:

  1. Exporting goods to Bois Rouge SARLU in the Central African Republic (CAR): Broker Expert has facilitated numerous shipments to Bois Rouge, a timber company associated with Prigozhin’s network in CAR.
  2. Exporting multipurpose vehicles to Meroe Gold Co. LTD. in Sudan: Meroe Gold Co. LTD. is a company designated by the United States, and Broker Expert has exported vehicles to this entity, suggesting its involvement in supporting Prigozhin’s interests in Sudan.
  3. Providing helmets to Wagner Group forces in Ukraine: Broker Expert has been involved in supplying helmets to the Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary organization linked to Prigozhin, for use in Ukraine.

Additionally, Broker LLC, along with other companies, has been utilized by Prigozhin’s enterprise to transfer cash for various malign activities, indicating its role in facilitating financial transactions to support Prigozhin’s operations.

US Sanctions

The sanctions list includes:

The Wagner Group and any of its legal successors or subsidiaries;

·       Pavel Shevelin, a Russian citizen;

·       LLC Eltekhnord and any of its legal successors or subsidiaries;

·       Rim Yong Hyok, a North Korean citizen;

·       Russian Aerospace Forces and its legal successors or subsidiaries.

“Russia has sought to leverage these Wagner-affiliated companies in its efforts both to secure additional revenue from abroad and to advance its interests in Africa, often at the expense of the host countries, their institutions, and their citizens,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.

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“The United States remains focused on disrupting the networks that enable Russia’s illicit and destabilizing activities in Africa.”

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