US Sanctions Former Exxon Contractor, Public Official in Guyana Over Alleged Fraud and Bribery

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jun 12, 2024 12:59 AM EDT

The United States (US) has sanctioned Guyanese mining mogul Nazar Mohamed and his son Azruddin over accusations of tax fraud and bribery, the Treasury Department announced on Tuesday. 

A picture shows The Department of The Treasury logo inside the new United States Embassy during a press preview in central London on December 13, 2017.
(Photo : STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

US Also Sanctions Companies of Guyanese Mining Mogul

According to Reuters, a company owned by the Mohameds had been previously part of a consortium developing a $300 million logistics base in Guyana for Exxon Mobil Corp.

However, the Mohameds' firm withdrew from the project after news broke that they were under criminal investigation by US law enforcement.

The sanctions were imposed on three of their companies: Mohamed's Enterprise, Hadi's World, and Team Mohamed's Racing team. Guyana's Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labor, Mae Thomas, was also sanctioned.

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Gold Sector of Guyana

The Treasury Department noted that these measures aim to disrupt those exploiting Guyana's gold sector for personal profit.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which enforces economic and trade sanctions, also blocked US firms from conducting business with the sanctioned individuals and companies.

"Today's action underscores our commitment to holding accountable those who seek to exploit Guyana's underdeveloped gold sector for personal gain," Brian Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in a press statement

The government of Guyana said that Thomas was put on leave as it sought additional information from the US about the sanctions.

READ MORE: Joe Biden Administration Sanctions Hundreds of Companies to Choke Russia's Supplies of Military Technology

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