Today, the US State Department has designated former Panamanian President Martinelli, and close family, because, it says, that he , it says, accepted bribes in exchange for improperly awarding government contracts during his tenure as the President. This on the same day that his 2 sons, who returned from prison in the US yesterday, were due in court in Panama to face further charges. Martinelli joins the Vice-President of Paraguay, Hugo Velázquez, and the former President Horacio Cartes, for alleged corruption.
Meanwhile, in other news, 11 new cases of monkeypox take the total to over 100, to 110 in fact. At the same time, the increase in malaria cases has led the Ministry of Health (Minsa) to set up an operations centre against malaria to coordinate strategies that will be carried out to deal with the disease.
26 JANUARY 2023
On 26 January, OFAC advised the issue of General License 5: Authorizing Certain Transactions Related to Frigorifico Chajha SAE; and General License 6: Authorizing the Wind Down of Transactions Involving Bebidas USA Inc, Tabacos USA Inc, Frigorifico Chajha SAE, Dominicana Acquisition SA, or Certain Blocked Entities Owned by Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara. 2 related FAQ have also been issued.
On 26 January, OFAC announced that Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara, the former President of Paraguay, andHugo Adalberto Velazquez Moreno, the current Vice-President, for their involvement in the rampant corruption that undermines democratic institutions in Paraguay. OFAC is also designating several companies owned or controlled by Cartes. The sanctions are being imposed under the so-called Global Magnitsky sanctions regime. OFAC had also issued new General Licenses 5 and 6 and 2 related FAQ.
On 26 January, OFAC advised that a number of new names had been added to its sanctions lists. These target the Wagner Group and numerous entities and individuals on multiple continents that support the Wagner Group’s military operations; they also include further parts of Russia’s defence industrial base; and further associates of Vladimir Putin and their families. The targets include 8 individuals and 16 entities, as well as 4 aircraft. At the same time, the US State Department is designating 9 individuals and 14 entities for their status as government officials, their involvement in the extended networks of designated persons, and/or for being part of Russia’s military industrial complex. The State Department also identified 2 yachts and 1 aircraft as blocked property.
On 25 January, a post on the FCPA Blog comprised an interview with the head of L’Agence française anticorruption (AFA) since it was founded in 2017, on what he thinks about the current state of anti-corruption efforts in France and globally.
On 25 January, the US State Department advised the designation of former President of Panama 2009-2014, Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, 70, for his involvement in significant corruption. Specifically, it says, Martinelli accepted bribes in exchange for improperly awarding government contracts during his tenure as the President. The allegations relate to being involved in a bribery scandal of the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. This was on the same day that his 2 sons returned to Panama after serving a sentence in New York for laundering millions of dollars in bribes from Odebrecht (they are due in court in Panama the next day, and are currently on parole). The State Department designation also extends to “close relatives”, prohibiting them from entering US territory.