US imposes sanctions on Guyanese mining magnate over alleged fraud

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Guyanese mining magnate Nazar Mohamed and his son over allegations the two men defrauded Guyana’s government of tax revenues and bribed public officials, the Treasury Department said.

The sanctions, which target three of the men’s companies as well as a Guyanese government official, fall under an executive order aimed at stemming corruption and human rights abuses.

Reuters has previously reported that the two men face a criminal probe by U.S. law enforcement agencies into alleged money laundering, drug trafficking and gold smuggling. They have denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement, U.S. Treasury Department official Brian Nelson said the action aimed to disrupt “those who seek to exploit Guyana’s underdeveloped gold sector for personal gain.”

Treasury’s sanctions target Mohamed’s son Azruddin along with the companies Mohamed’s Enterprise, Hadi’s World and Team Mohamed’s Racing team. The Guyanese official targeted is Mae Thomas, who Treasury described as the country’s Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and a former home affairs secretary.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; editing by Susan Heavey)

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