The US sanctioned Liberian Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and two of the West African nation’s senators for alleged graft.
The Treasury designated Tweah along with Senators Albert Chie and Emmanuel Nuquay for their involvement in “significant corruption by abusing their public positions,” according to a statement. The three men “offered bribes to manipulate legislative processes and public funding, including legislative reporting and mining sector activity,” the Treasury said.
The designations mean Tweah, Chie and Nuquay, as well as their immediate family members, are ineligible for entry into the US.
Liberia ranks 142nd out of 180 nations on advocacy group Transparency International’s annual corruption perceptions index. The country of about 5.4 million people is struggling to recover from two civil wars and its worst outbreak of Ebola that peaked in 2014. Per-capita income stood at $754.50 last year, about half the sub-Saharan African average, according to the World Bank.
Last week, the Treasury designated Jefferson Koijee, mayor of the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
“In addition to serious human rights abuse, Koijee engaged in corrupt acts, including bribery and misappropriation of state assets and pressuring anti-corruption investigators to halt all corruption investigations,” it said.
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