The US sanctioned Russian-related entities for leading a bribery network in the Guatemalan mining industry

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Treasury measures target Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel ProNiCo and Mayaniquel, Guatemalan-based subsidiaries of Solway Investment Group

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The US sanctioned Russian-related entities for leading a bribery network in the Guatemalan mining industry

Overview of the operations of a nickel mine in the department of Izabal (Guatemala), in a file photograph (EFE/Esteban Biba)

The US Department of the Treasury on Friday issued sanctions against Russian participation in the Guatemalan nickel sector, according to a statement.

Sanctions target Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel ProNiCo and Mayaniquel >, Guatemala-based subsidiaries of Solway Investment Group.

As part of the same action, the Treasury also sanctioned Dmitri Kudryakov, who runs the Solway mining operations in Guatemala, and a Belarusian national Iryna Litviniuk for allegedly leading bribery and corruption schemes.

“These individuals and entities are designated pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13818, which is based on implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuses and corruption around the world,” the statement reads.

“We stand with the people of Guatemala and we support the protection of their country's natural resources from outside exploitation,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson . “We will use our tools to help ensure that corrupt profiteers face consequences for stealing from the Guatemalan people.”

In line with the efforts of the Joe Biden administration to counter corruption as one of the root causes of migration from northern Central America, the US Treasury action “further demonstrates the US government's continued commitment to imposing consequences tangible and significant actions to corrupt actors to protect the US financial system from abuse.”

The US sanctioned Russian-related entities for leading a bribery network in the Guatemalan mining industry

The US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)

The Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN), the Nickel Processing Company (ProNiCo) and Mayaniquel operate as subsidiaries of the Solway Investment group, a Russian company that has been mining in Guatemala since 2011. The leader of Solway's mining operations in Guatemala, the Russian citizen Dmitry Kudryakov, together with Belarusian national Iryna Litviniuk, allegedly ran multiple bribery schemes over several years involving politicians, judges and government officials. In addition, Litviniuk carried out corrupt acts in support of Russian influence-peddling schemes by illegally giving cash payments to public officials in exchange for support of Russian mining interests.

Kudryakov and Litviniuk are designated pursuant to EO 13818 as having materially aided, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support, or goods or services for or in support of corruption, including misappropriation of state assets, corruption related to government contracts , or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery.

As a result of the sanctions, all property and interests in property of these individuals that are in the United States or in the possession or control of American individuals are blocked and must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). , for its acronym in English). In addition, any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, individually or jointly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons is also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, OFAC regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or within (or in transit) of the United States involving any property or interest in property of designated or blocked persons. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services by, for or for the benefit of any designated person,

(With information from Reuters and US Department of The Treasury)

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