Senior Liberian officials hit with U.S. financial sanctions

Aug 14, 2022, 8:15 PM | Updated: Aug 15, 2022, 8:20 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. imposed sanctions Monday on three high-ranking Liberian government officials for engaging in alleged public corruption.

President George Weah’s chief of staff, the nation’s chief prosecutor and the current managing director of the national port authority have been designated by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for sanctions.

Liberia was battered by back-to-back civil wars that left 200,000 people dead and displaced half of the country’s population. Public corruption has been a persistent problem, which has prevented economic development in an otherwise resourceful country of more than 5 million people.

A Treasury Department statement reads that the U.S. is “committed to working with the people and Government of Liberia to elevate countering corruption as a priority, including by bolstering public sector anti-corruption capacity.”

Sanctioned individuals are Nathaniel McGill, chief of staff to President Weah; Sayma Syrenius Cephus, Liberia’s chief prosecutor; and Bill Twehway, the current managing director of the National Port Authority.

The sanctions are authorized under an executive order signed during Donald Trump’s presidency, which implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of human rights abuse and corruption around the world.

“Through their corruption these officials have undermined democracy in Liberia for their own personal benefit,” said Brian E. Nelson, Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in a statement.

“Treasury’s designations today demonstrate that the United States remains committed to holding corrupt actors accountable and to the continued support of the Liberian people,” he said.

At the State Department, spokesman Ned Price said, “All three of these individuals have contributed to Liberia’s worsening corruption. These designations reflect our commitment to implementing the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption and to partnering with the Liberian government and people to help the country chart a better course forward.”

The sanctions come after the U.S. government sanctioned Liberia’s ex-warlord and current senator Prince Yormie Johnson for alleged corruption in December also under the Global Magnitsky Act.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - President Donald Trump sits at his desk after a meeting with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, left,...

Associated Press

Trump indictment unsealed in documents case | Live updates

MIAMI (AP) — Follow along for live updates on classified documents at his Florida estate. The indictment marks the first time in U.S. history that a former president faces criminal charges by the federal government he once oversaw. Trump faces the possibility of prison if convicted. ___ LAWS APPLY TO ‘EVERYONE’ TRUMP SPECIAL COUNSEL SAYS […]

1 day ago

FILE - In this file photo, a GameStop sign is displayed above a store in Urbandale, Iowa, on Jan. 2...

Associated Press

GameStop terminates CEO, former Amazon executive brought for modernization

Shares of GameStop are plunging before the opening bell after the company fired CEO Matthew Furlong, the former Amazon executive that was brought in two years ago to turn the struggling video game retailer around.

1 day ago

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Altman on T...

Associated Press

OpenAI CEO suggests international agency like UN’s nuclear watchdog could oversee AI

Artificial intelligence poses an “existential risk” to humanity, a key innovator warned during a visit to the United Arab Emirates

2 days ago

Mt. Rainier death...

Associated Press

Missing Mount Rainier climber’s body found in crevasse; he was celebrating 80th birthday

Search crews on Mount Rainier have found the body of a man matching the description of an 80-year-old solo climber reported missing

3 days ago

Washington gun restrictions...

Associated Press

Judge rejects attempt to block new Washington state gun restrictions

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request to block a new Washington state law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles

4 days ago

FILE - A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference, April 28, 2015,...

Associated Press

Microsoft will pay $20M to settle U.S. charges of illegally collecting children’s data

Microsoft will pay a fine of $20 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it illegally collected and retained the data of children

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Senior Liberian officials hit with U.S. financial sanctions