To mark “International Anti-Corruption Day,” the Biden administration announced a raft of sanctions Thursday on 15 foreign government officials and companies it says are involved in corruption.
The announcement of sanctions covering people and companies in Central America, Africa and Europe came as Biden opened a virtual “democracy summit.”
Among those targeted by the U.S. Treasury Department measures are officials from El Salvador and Guatemala whom the Biden administration accuses of corruption in the procurement of COVID-19-related medical supplies.
It said Salvadoran Chief of Cabinet Martha Carolina Recinos De Bernal allegedly was involved in “suspicious procurements” of medical supplies. A Guatemalan official, Manuel Victor Martinez Olivet, was accused of “misappropriation, fraud, and abuse of authority” regarding contracts.
“Corrupt acts take resources from citizens, undermine public trust, and threaten the progress of those who fight for democracy,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
Sanctions were also levied on two South Sudanese construction companies for allegedly receiving preferential treatment by officials.
Additionally, sanctions were imposed on Ukrainian Andriy Portnov, the former deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential administration under former President Viktor Yanukovych. Portnov is accused of buying influence in Ukraine’s court system.
Also sanctioned were former Angolan officials accused of embezzling billions of dollars.
Some information in this report came from Reuters.