January 22, 2024
The Bottom Line Up Front

On January 22, 2024, the EU sanctioned six entities implicated in corruption and conflict in Sudan — including GSK Advance and Zadna, two companies that C4ADS first identified in our 2022 Breaking the Bank report as part of our own efforts to disrupt the illicit networks responsible for facilitating escalating crisis in the country.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — The European Union today sanctioned six entities for their role in corruption, illicit finance, and enabling conflict in Sudan.

These sanctioned entities are part of illicit networks that C4ADS has investigated which are critical to both the Rapid Support Forces and Sudanese Armed Forces warfighting capabilities.

“The European Union’s sanctions come as Sudan’s conflict reaches a critical inflection point,” said Justin Lynch, a Program Manager at C4ADS.

Among the entities sanctioned are two companies that C4ADS has publicly investigated, GSK Advance and Zadna.

2022’s Breaking the Bank report found that GSK Advance was a key node in the RSF’s business empire. It is allegedly led by the brother of Mohammed Hamdan Dalgo “Hemedti.” GSK Advance’s apparent role as a centerpiece of the RSF financial network is detailed by its web-hosting. C4ADS’ research found that GSK Advance shared similar domain hosting with as many as 12 other entities linked to the RSF.

“GSK Advance’s apparent ownership by members of Hemedti’s family and the company’s additional links to other RSF affiliated companies make it a focal point for the group’s business empire and potentially also for their financing,” said Denise Sprimont-Vasquez, an analyst at C4ADS.

Another entity that was sanctioned and highlighted in the Breaking the Bank report was Zadna.

Zadna is an agricultural and construction conglomerate with U.S. and E.U. business ties that is led by the deep state. The Sudanese Dismantling Committee investigated Zadna during Sudan’s transitional period, partially in vain. Members of the committee said they were told to “return some of the money seized by the committee to its owners, including Zadna.” 

“Representatives of both the RSF and SAF serve on Zadna’s board of directors, which seems to be quite a rare occurrence,” said Brittany Thayer, an analyst at C4ADS.

The E.U.’s actions come as Sudan’s conflict is reaching a crossroads. Nearly seven million people have been displaced since Sudan’s conflict began April 15. On December 6, the State Department stated that both the SAF and RSF had committed war crimes in Sudan. 

“Disrupting illicit assets of the warring parties is one path to altering the trajectory of Sudan’s worsening conflict,” said Christopher Kiyaseh, an analyst at C4ADS. 

C4ADS uses publicly available information and technology to identify and disrupt illicit financial networks across the world. Both the SAF and RSF have relied on their international supporters to fund and supply their war aims. As Sudan’s conflict carries on, C4ADS will continue to investigate and disrupt these international networks to support a peaceful and democratic Sudan.