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U.S. imposes sanctions on three Liberian officials

THE United States imposed sanctions on three Liberian government officials, including President George Weah’s chief of staff, for what it says is their ongoing involvement in public corruption, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

The sanctions target Weah’s Chief of Staff Nathaniel McGill, Liberia’s Chief Prosecutor Sayma Syrenius Cephus and Bill Twehway, the managing director of the National Port Authority.

“Through their corruption, these officials have undermined democracy in Liberia for their own personal benefit,” Brian Nelson, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

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

McGill, Cephus and Twehway are being designated as foreign government officials who allegedly engaged in corruption including the misappropriation of state assets, taking private assets for personal gain, or bribery, according to the statement.

Under the sanctions, all property and interests in property of the three officials that are in the United States must be blocked and reported to Treasury, while people who engage in transactions with the officials may be subject to sanctions themselves, the statement said.