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Monday, June 17, 2024

U.S. IMPOSES MORE SANCTIONS TO COUNTER GLOBAL CORRUPTION

Date:

On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day and the opening of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption, the United States is taking the following actions to promote accountability for corrupt actors around the world.  The Department of State is designating over 30 individuals pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2023 (Div. K, P.L. 117-328), as carried forward by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2024 (Div. A, P.L. 118-15).  The Department of the Treasury is designating two individuals and 44 entities pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

Section 7031(c) provides that in cases where there is credible information that officials of foreign governments have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are generally ineligible for entry into the United States and must be either publicly or privately designated.

ACTIONS TAKEN TO PROMOTE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR CORRUPT ACTORS 

Afghanistan

Mir Rahman Rahmani, former Afghan Speaker of Parliament, and Ajmal Rahmani, former Member of the Afghan Parliament

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is publicly designating Mir Rahman Rahmani and Ajmal Rahmani for their involvement in significant corruption. This transnational corruption scheme spanned the globe as the Rahmani’s stole millions of dollars from U.S. government-funded fuel contracts.  As part of this action, their immediate family members (Jamila Jushan Haji Mohamad Hossin, Tamana Mir Rahman, Yalda Mir Rahman, Lina Mir Rahman, and Tahmina Tajali) are also designated.  Concurrently, Treasury is also designating Mir Rahmani and Ajmal Rahmani and 44 associated entities pursuant to E.O. 13818.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) 

Diana Kajmakovic, former state prosecutor in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is publicly designating Kajmakovic for her involvement in significant corruption.  In support of narcotics traffickers and other criminals, Kajmakovic helped hide evidence, prevent prosecution, and otherwise assist criminal activity in exchange for personal gain. She also attempted to block an investigation into her apparent criminal affiliates, including Osman Mehmedagic. Previously Kajmakovic was designated by the Department of Treasury pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14033 for being responsible for or complicit in corruption or the undermining of democratic processes or institutions in the Western Balkans.

Osman “Osmica”  Mehmedagic, former Director General for BiH’s Intelligence Security Agency

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is publicly designating Mehmedagic for his involvement in significant corruption.  Mehmedagic collaborated with criminal networks and abused his public position to enrich himself. As part of this action, his wife Amela Mehmedagic Sehovic is also designated.  Previously, the Department of Treasury designated Mehmedagic pursuant to E.O. 14033 for being complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption related to the Western Balkans, including corruption by, on behalf of, or otherwise related to a government in the Western Balkans, or a current or former government official at any level of government in the Western Balkans, such as the misappropriation of public assets, expropriation of private assets for personal gain or political purposes, or bribery.

Dominican Republic

Jean Alain Rodriguez Sanchez, former Attorney General

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is publicly designating Rodriguez for his involvement in significant corruption by misappropriating public funds intended for state-financed infrastructure projects and government institutions.  As part of this action, his immediate family members are also designated, including his spouse Maria Isabel Perez Sallent and two minor children.

Haiti

Jean-Max Bellerive, former Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and External Cooperation

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is publicly designating Bellerive for abusing his public position by participating in corrupt activity that undermined the integrity of Haiti’s government.  As part of this action, his immediate family members are also designated, including his spouse Myriam Estevez De Bellerive and his adult daughters Diana Jennifer Bellerive and Jessica Bellerive.

Nenel Cassy, former Senator

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is publicly designating Cassy for abusing his public position by participating in corrupt activity that undermined the integrity of Haiti’s government.  As part of this action, his immediate family members are also designated, including his spouse Katherine Cassy Chery and one minor child.

Herve Fourcand, former Senator

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is publicly designating Fourcand for abusing his public position by participating in corrupt activity that undermined the integrity of Haiti’s government.

Liberia

Samuel Tweah, Liberian Minister of Finance and Development Planning, and Liberian Senators Albert Chie and Emmanuel Nuquay

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the United States is publicly designating Tweah, Chie, and Nuquay, afor their involvement in significant corruption by abusing their public positions through soliciting, accepting, and offering bribes to manipulate legislative processes and public funding, including legislative reporting and mining sector activity. As part of this action, their immediate family members are also designated, including their spouses Delecia Berry Tweah, Abigail Chie, and Ruthtoria Brown Nuquay,  and Tweah and Nuquay’s minor children.

Additionally, on December 8, Treasury designated Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson Koijee pursuant to E.O. 13818 for engaging, or having been a leader of an entity that has engaged in serious human rights abuse and corruption.  In addition to serious human rights abuse, Koijee engaged in corrupt acts, including bribery and misappropriation of state assets and pressuring anti-corruption investigators to halt all corruption investigations.

Republic of the Marshall Islands

Kessai Note, Minister of Transportation and Communication, Senator, and former President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Senator Mike Halferty

  • Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the United States is publicly designating Note and Halferty, for their involvement in significant corruption by accepting articles of monetary value and other benefits in exchange for acts in the performance of their public functions. Specifically, Note and Halferty accepted bribes in the form of services and cash, in exchange for their legislative support of a bill in the RMI legislature to create a semi-autonomous region in the RMI.
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