- Associated Press - Thursday, December 12, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration imposed sanctions Thursday on a son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega for his alleged role on money laundering and corruption.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo uses two companies to support his mother, Vice President and first lady Rosario Murillo, who was placed under received U.S. sanctions on November 2018.

“Treasury is targeting Rafael and the companies he owns and uses to launder money to prop up the Ortega regime at the expense of the Nicaraguan people,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Treasury identified the companies as Inversiones Zanzíbar, SA and Servicio De Protección y Vigilancia, SA.

OFAC also imposed sanctions on Distribuidor Nicaragüense de Petróleo SA, a third company that it said has been used by members of the Ortega family for their personal enrichment from non-competitive contracts with Nicaragua government institutions.



As a result of the action, all property of designated entities in the United States are blocked.

The Trump administration last month sanctioned three Nicaraguan officials accused of human rights abuses, election fraud and corruption.

Thousands of Nicaraguans have been killed, jailed or forced into exile since protests against President Ortega erupted in April 2018.

NIcaraguan officials have called opposition protesters “terrorists” and consider the demonstrations tantamount to an attempted coup.

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