Author: Dr. Angelika Hellweger 24 August 2022
In the latest Rahman Ravelli Sanctions Monitor piece, Angelika Hellweger details the United States’ sanctioning of three Liberian officials.
The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, enacted in December 2016, authorizes the US President to impose economic sanctions on - and deny entry into the United States to - foreign individuals or entities identified as engaging in human rights violations or corruption. It was implemented through Executive Order (E.O.) 13818 of December 20, 2017. (E.O. 13818).
The term corruption in this regard includes the following acts: “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; or the transfer or the facilitation of the transfer of the proceeds of corruption.”
On 15 August 2022, three Liberian government officials were designated by OFAC (the Office of Foreign Assets Control) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O. 13818). Those listed are Nathaniel McGill, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Chief of Staff to President George Weah; Sayma Syrenius Cephus, Solicitor General and Chief Prosecutor of Liberia; and Bill Twehway, Managing Director of the National Port Authority.
They are said to undermine democracy in Liberia for their own personal benefit and be involved in ongoing public corruption in Liberia; 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, and organizing warlords to threaten political rivals. None of the three are yet subject to UK or European Union sanctions.
Following the US designations, the Liberian President George Weah suspended the three government officials and opened an investigation into their alleged participation in public corruption.
Angelika is a specialist in international, high-level economic crime investigations and large-scale commercial disputes. She has widely-recognised expertise in representing corporates and conglomerates in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and United States.