Global Magnitsky Sanctions against Corruption Network in South Africa

Channel 1 Los Angeles

Washington D.C. 10/10/19

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned four individuals for corruption in South Africa pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.  Specifically, OFAC designated Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, and Salim Essa for their involvement in corrupt schemes with government officials and employees in state-owned enterprises for their own personal gain.  As a result of today’s actions, any property, or interest in property, of those designated within U.S. jurisdiction is blocked.  Additionally, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons, including entities owned or controlled by designated persons.

Today’s action demonstrates continued U.S. commitment to promoting transparency, accountability, and the rule of law globally.  We commend the critical role played by South Africa’s civil society activists, whistleblowers, and investigative journalists to shine the spotlight on the Gupta network’s elicitation of criminal abuse of public office and other acts of corruption, which have deterred investment and impeded South Africa’s economic growth.  The United States strongly supports ongoing efforts by the Government of South Africa, including its independent judiciary, judicial commissions of inquiry, and law enforcement agencies, to investigate and prosecute alleged instances of corruption.  Successfully prosecuting and deterring corruption is essential to building a future of accountable government that fosters economic growth and opportunity for all of South Africa’s citizens.

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