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OFAC Sanctions Individuals For Corruption Related To COVID-19 Procurement – International Law

United States:

OFAC Sanctions Individuals For Corruption Related To COVID-19 Procurement

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On December 9, 2021, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
announced sanctions on two
individuals for corruption involving procurement during the
pandemic. The Department of the Treasury stated that
“Corruption involving procurement of life-saving medical
supplies represents a profound betrayal of public trust and a waste
of critically needed resources.” Government officials in El
Salvador and Guatemala were sanctioned for allegedly being involved
in suspicious procurement, directing suspicious pandemic-related
purchases, reselling personal protective equipment and other medial
aid at significant markup and for personal gain, and/or for
favoring companies where family members were officers. The actions
continue the use of the Global Magnitsky sanctions to target global
corruption and the inter-agency focus of the U.S. government on
pandemic-related fraud.

The OFAC announcement also identifies individuals and entities in several
other countries
in Central America, Africa, and Europe for
various other corrupt practices. As a result of these sanctions,
all property and interests in property of the designated persons
that are in the United States or in the possession or control of
U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition,
any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or
more by one or more designated persons are also blocked. Unless
authorized by a license or exemption, 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.

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