US Sanctions Nicaraguan President’s Son Over Grand Canal Scheme

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The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned Laureano Ortega Murillo, the son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, accusing him of using the country’s moribund interoceanic canal scheme to launder money and acquire property.

OFAC also sanctioned the Nicaraguan bank, Banco Corporativo SA (BanCorp), in its decision last week.

The move is linked to sanctions against Venezuela, as BanCorp is a subsidiary to the Venezuelan government-funded Alba de Nicaragua, S.A.

On the same day (17 April), OFAC sanctioned the Central Bank of Venezuela and a Venezuelan government official.

The US said Laureano and the bank support a regime that, since April 2018, “has cracked down on political opposition, leading to the death of 325 persons, the injury of more than 2,000, the imprisonment of hundreds of political and civil society actors, and over 42,000 Nicaraguans seeking refuge in Costa Rica”.

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