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Combating Global Corruption and Human Rights Abuses

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On the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day and on the eve of International Human Rights Day, the United States is taking the following actions to promote accountability for corruption and human rights abuse around the world.  These actions include financial sanctions, using Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Act, and four additional country-focused Executive Orders.  The actions also include visa restrictions pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022 (Div. K, P.L. 117-103), as carried forward by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2023 (Div. A, P.L. 117-180) and pursuant to Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

All property and interests in property of individuals or entities designated under E.O.s 14024, 13818, 13722, 13687, or 13553 that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited.  The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

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.  INA Section 212(a)(3)(C) provides grounds for the Secretary of State to exclude any alien whose entry he determines would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.

Actions Taken for Significant Corruption El Salvador

Conan Tonathiu Castro Ramirez (Castro Ramirez), Presidential Legal Secretary

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Castro Ramirez for facilitating the cover-up of fraud by obstructing investigations into the misappropriation of public funds during the pandemic and for directly engaging in corrupt activities by using his office for personal financial gain.Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is publicly designating Castro Ramirez for his involvement in significant corruption.  As part of this action, four immediate family members are also designated.

Oscar Rolando Castro (Castro), Minister of Labor

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Castro for engaging in corruption and misappropriating public funds for his personal benefit.  Rolando used aligned unions to benefit himself and political allies in exchange for express processing of union credentials, among other benefits.Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Castro for his involvement in significant corruption.  As part of this action, an immediate family member is also designated. Guatemala

Allan Estuardo Rodriguez Reyes (Rodriguez), Former President of Congress

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Rodriguez for using his political influence to award construction grants in exchange for financial kickbacks as well as offering bribes for votes on a bill in congress.Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Rodriguez for his involvement in significant corruption.  As part of this action, one immediate family member is also designated.

Jorge Estuardo Vargas Morales (Vargas), Congressman

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Vargas for corruption related to contracts and operations at government-run ports. Vargas maintains influence at the port through bribery, creating blockades and strikes for personal profit.Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Vargas for his involvement in significant corruption.  As part of this action, four immediate family members are also designated.

Luis Alfonso Chang Navarro (Chang), Former Minister of Energy and Mines

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Chang for using his position to secure kickbacks.  Chang solicited bribes and other favors in exchange for not revoking licenses.Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Chang for his involvement in significant corruption.  As part of this action, two immediate family members are also designated. Haiti

Romel Bell, Former Director General of the General Administration of Customs

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Romel Bell for abusing his public position by participating in corrupt activity that undermined the integrity of Haiti’s government.  As part of this action, one immediate family member was also designated.

Rony Celestin, Senator

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Rony Celestin for abusing his public position by participating in corrupt activity that undermined the integrity of Haiti’s government.  As part of this action, four immediate family members are also designated. Mali

Karim Keita (Keita), Former President of the National Assembly’s Defense Committee

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Keita, and one entity controlled by Keita, Konijane Strategic Marketing, for involvement in corruption.  Keita used his position as chairman of the National Assembly’s Security and Defense Commission to embezzle defense spending, secure bribes, and redirect contracts to his associates.  Additionally, Keita used defense funds to bribe other officials in support of the 2018 re-election of his father, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who is the former President of Mali.Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Keita for misappropriation of public funds.  As part of this action, two immediate family members are also designated. Ukraine

Pavlo Vovk (Vovk), Chairman of the Kyiv District Administrative Court

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Vovk for soliciting bribes in return for interfering in judicial and other public processes.  As part of this action, two immediate family members are also designated. Action Taken Related to Human Rights Abuses and Violations Azerbaijan

Kerim Heydar Alimardanov (Alimardanov), an official in the Main Department for Combating Organized Crime within the Azerbaijani Ministry of Internal Affairs, known as the “Bandotdel”

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Alimardanov for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights, namely torture of detainees in 2015 and 2016. Burundi

Alain Guillaume Bunyoni (Bunyoni), a former Burundian official

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Bunyoni for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

Border Guard General Bureau (BGGB)

Pursuant to E.O. 13687, which authorizes imposition of sanctions with respect to the DPRK, the Department of the Treasury is designating the BGGB for being an agency, instrumentality, or controlled entity of the Government of DPRK or the Workers’ Party of Korea.  DPRK state security agencies, including the BGGB, thwart escapes through tight border controls, including land mines and shoot-on-sight orders that have resulted in the deaths of numerous North Koreans.

Two DPRK-related individuals and Seven Entities

Pursuant to E.O. 13722, which authorizes the imposition of sanctions with respect to the DPRK and Workers’ Party of Korea, the Department of the Treasury is designating two individuals as well as seven related entities for providing material support to, acting on behalf of, or being owned by the DPRK’s government-run animation studio, SEK Studio. The targets are:  Kim Myong Chol, based in France; Everlasting Empire Limited, based in Hong Kong; Tian Fang (Hong Kong) Holding Limited, based in Hong Kong; Fujian Nan’an Import and Export Company, based in China; Limited Liability Company Kinoatis, based in the Russian Federation; and Funsaga Pte Ltd, based in Singapore; Deepak Subhash Jadhav based in India; Yancheng Three Line One Point Animation Co., Ltd, based in China; Quanzhou Yiyangjin Import and Export Trade Co., Ltd., based in China. Guinea

Alpha Conde (Conde), former president of Guinea

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Conde for his connection to serious human rights abuse.  During Conde’s tenure, Guinean security forces engaged in serious human rights abuse, including extrajudicial killings, in the context of political protests surrounding the March 22, 2020, legislative elections and constitutional referendum. Indonesia

Godlief Mangkak Timbul Silaen (Silaen), former police chief of the then-East Timor region and commander of Indonesia’s Security Control Command

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Silaen for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights, namely the extrajudicial killing of civilians in East Timor (now Timor-Leste) in 1999. Iran

Ali Akbar Javidian (Javidian), Kermanshah Province Commander of the Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran (LEF)

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Javidian for his connection to serious human rights abuse.  During Javidian’s tenure members of the LEF used excessive force against protestors, resulting in extrajudicial killings.

Allah Karim Azizi (Azizi), warden of Rezaee Shah Prison

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Azizi for his connection to serious human rights abuse.  During Azizi’s tenure, prison guards have engaged in maltreatment of prisoners, including serious physical abuse.

Ebrahim Kouchakzaei (Kouchakzaei), LEF commander in Chabahar, in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan Province

Pursuant to E.O. 13553, which authorizes the imposition of sanctions with respect to serious human rights abuses by the Government of Iran, the Department of the Treasury is designating Kouchakzaei for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Iran’s LEF.  He is the alleged perpetrator of a rape of a 15-year-old girl in mid-September 2022.

Mohammed Reza Ostad (Ostad), warden of Bushehr Prison

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Ostad for his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely the cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners.

13 Iranian government officials

Pursuant to INA Section 212(a)(3)(C), the Department of State is also taking action to impose visa restrictions on 13 current and former Iranian government officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the abuse, detention or killing of peaceful protestors or inhibiting their rights to freedom of expression or peaceful assembly, including through censorship via a country-wide internet shutdown in Iran. People’s Republic of China (PRC)

Wu Yingjie (Wu), Party Secretary of Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR)

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Wu for his connection to serious human rights abuse in Tibet.  As the TAR’s Party Secretary from 2016 to October 2021, Wu directed government officials in the region to engage in “social stability” policies, which led to serious human rights abuse, including physical abuse and arbitrary arrests and detentions.

Zhang Hongbo (Zhang), director of the Tibetan Public Security Bureau (TPSB)

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Zhang for his connection to serious human rights abuse in Tibet.  Zhang has been the director of the TPSB since 2018 through at least November 2022.  He has worked to advance the PRC’s goals and policies in Tibet as “Tibet’s police chief.”  During Zhang’s tenure, the TPSB engaged in serious human rights abuse, including arbitrary detention and physical abuse.Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Zhang for gross violations of human rights, namely arbitrary detention of Tibetans, which also amount to particularly severe violations of religious freedom.

Tang Yong (Tang), former deputy director of the Chongqing Area Prisons in the PRC

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Tang for his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely arbitrary detention of Falun Gong practitioners, which also amount to particularly severe violations of religious freedom.

Li Zhenyu (Li)

Zhuo Xinrong (Zhuo)

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Li and Zhuo as well as a network of entities including Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., Ltd. (Dalian) and Pingtan Marine Enterprise, Ltd. (Pingtan), and over 150 vessels for their connection to serious human rights abuse.  Dalian- and Pingtan-owned and -operated vessels engaged in forced labor, involving withheld pay, physical violence, abusive working and living conditions, and meager food and water, which contributed to the deaths of crew members. Peru

José Carlos Bertarelli Rodríguez (Rodríguez), a former commander of the Ayacucho Intelligence Detachment in Peru

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Rodríguez for his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely torture between 1983 – 1985. Philippines

Apollo Quiboloy (Quiboloy)

Pursuant to E.O. 13818, the Department of the Treasury is designating Quiboloy for his connection to serious human rights abuse. As the founder of the Philippines-based church, Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name (KOJC), Quiboloy took advantage of his leadership role within the KOJC to engage in a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape and other physical abuse involving minors as young as 11 years old from 2006 to at least 2020. The Russian Federation

Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation (Russia’s CEC)

Pursuant to E.O. 14024, the Department of the Treasury is designating Russia’s CEC alongside its 15 members.  In September 2022, Russia’s CEC helped oversee and monitor sham referendums held in areas of Russia-controlled Ukraine that were rife with incidents of clear voter coercion and intimidation.  Additionally, Russia’s CEC conducts and oversees federal and local elections in Russia, including referendums.  For years, Russia’s CEC has touted as clean and transparent elections in Russia that have been riddled with irregularities and credible accusations that the Kremlin has carefully managed the results.

Lyudmila Nikolaevna Zaitseva (Zaitseva)

Pursuant to E.O. 14024, , the Department of State is designating Zaitseva, under Section 1(a)(ii)(F), for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, activities that undermine the peace, security, political stability, or territorial integrity of the United States, its allies, or its partners for or on behalf of, or for the benefit of, directly or indirectly, the Government of the Russian Federation.  Zaitseva was reportedly implicated in human rights abuses against civilians in Ukraine, specifically the kidnapping and forced relocation of children from Ukraine.

Ochur-Suge Terimovich Mongush (Mongush)

Pursuant to E.O. 14024, the Department of State is designating Mongush, under Section 1(a)(vi)(B), for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024. Mongush was reportedly implicated in human rights abuses against civilians in Ukraine, specifically torture.

Oleg Yuryevich Nesterov (Nesterov), Russian Federation Presidential Administration official

Pursuant to E.O. 14024, the Department of the Treasury is designating Nesterov for being directly involved in the planning for and implementation of filtration points in Russia-controlled Ukraine.

Yevgeniy Radionovich Kim (Kim), Russian Federation Presidential Administration official

Pursuant to E.O. 14024, the Department of the Treasury is designating Kim for being directly involved in the planning for and implementation of filtration points in Russia-controlled Ukraine.

Marina Konstantinovna Sereda (Sereda)

Pursuant to E.O. 14024, the Department of the Treasury is designating Sereda for working with the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Ministry of Internal Affairs to manage filtration points in Russia-controlled Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.

Aleksey Valentinovich Muratov (Muratov), Official of the so-called DNR

Pursuant to E.O. 14024, the Department of the Treasury is designating Sereda for coordinating filtration point operations with so-called DNR leader Denis Pushilin.  In particular, Muratov has spearheaded the procurement of necessary equipment and technology to support filtration points in Russia-controlled Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. Sri Lanka

Prabath Bulathwatte (Bulathwatte), former head of a clandestine Sri Lankan Army platoon, known as the “Tripoli Platoon,”

Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Bulathwatte for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights, namely torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of Sri Lankan journalist, Keith Noyahr, in May 2008. Vietnam Vo Thanh Dung (Vo), former warrant officer at the Lagi Police Station Pursuant to Section 7031(c), the Department of State is designating Vo for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights, namely torture, in January 1987.

For more information about these designations, please see the following statements:

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1154

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1155

US Department of State

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