U.S. Sanctions Roll Call Continues: More Expected As Koijee Becomes Latest

Few months ago, this platform, your informative GNN-Liberia newspaper reported from unconfirmed U.S. based diplomatic source that hinted that at the end of 2023 the United States Treasury Department through the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, E.O. 13818 was preparing its paper work to sanction more Liberian government officials for their alleged involvement in human rights abuses and endless corruption that have depraved the citizens of their rights and privileges.

Even though GNN-Liberia source from the United States did not name the expected sanction designates in its publication at the time, but gathered that these sanctioned Liberian officials are to come from the three branches of the Liberian Government; two from the Executive, one of the Judiciary, and one from the Legislature, these persons have been noticed over the years of their alleged involvement in countless number of human rights abuses and corruption.

Already two lawmakers including Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County, and Senator Varney Sherman of Grand Cape Mount County have been sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department adding to the number of three officials; Nathaniel Falo McGill former Minister of State and now Senator of Migibi County, Bill Tweaway for Managing Director of the National Port Authority also now Senator of Rivercess County.

Now the current City Mayor of Monrovia, and Secretary General of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Jefferson Tamba Koijee has been added on the list of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) sanction designated.

According to the United States Treasury Department Koijee has a reputation for stoking violence and has a powerful grip on Monrovia’s youth. He controls paramilitary-style organizations associated with the CDC which allegedly recruits former combatants and recently released prisoners. OFAC has reason to believe that Koijee has instructed these organizations to violently disrupt demonstrations conducted by government critics or political opposition. Koijee and his supporters have been involved in violence in connection with: an opposition rally in July 2022, students attending a memorial service for former Liberian president Amos Sawyer in March 2022, an anti-rape protest in August 2020, a student graduation ceremony in December 2019, and an opposition rally in November 2018. Koijee has also engaged in corrupt acts, including bribery and misappropriation of state assets for use by private political movements and pressuring anti-corruption investigators to halt corruption investigations.

Koijee is being designated for being a foreign person who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse and for being a foreign person who is a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery pursuant to E.O. 13818.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s actions, all property and interests in property of the designated persons described above 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, individually or in the aggregate, 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 exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit 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.

In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned entities and individuals may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any designated person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior.

Visited 179 times, 1 visit(s) today

Comments are closed.