LatinNews Daily - 06 September 2021

US sanctions Paraguayan nationals for corruption

Paraguay: On 24 August the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new financial sanctions on three Paraguayans for corruption and money laundering, along with five associated entities for their connections to the corruption schemes. The three individuals are named as Kassem Mohamad Hijazi, Khalil Ahmad Hijazi and Liz Paola Doldán Gonzalez. The sanctions were issued under Executive Order 13818 which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, targeting human rights abusers and those involved in corruption. Property in the US belonging to those sanctioned is now blocked. According to OFAC, Mohamad Hijazi runs a money laundering organisation in Ciudad Del Este, the capital of Alto Paraná department on the Brazilian border, which is capable of laundering hundreds of millions of US dollars on a global scale and has close connections to Paraguayan government officials. Ahmad Hijazi is being punished for providing support to him. Doldán was identified as an intermediary working with shipments from the US for the organisation, paying bribes to port workers, customs officials and other involved parties. In a statement released on 24 August, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the sanctions were necessary to “protect the US financial system from abuse” and “to combat corruption in the Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay Tri-Border Area.”

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