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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. HSI Joins the Department of Treasury in Announcing Sanctions Against Wagner Group-linked Companies in the Central African Republic

HSI Joins the Department of Treasury in Announcing Sanctions Against Wagner Group-linked Companies in the Central African Republic

Release Date: May 30, 2024

WASHINGTON — Today, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) joined the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in announcing sanctions against two companies connected to the Private Military Company ‘Wagner’ (Wagner Group).

Mining Industries SARLU and Logistique Economique Etrangere SARLU are being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O. 14024) for enabling Wagner Group security operations and Wagner Group-linked illicit mining endeavors in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“Homeland Security Investigations is committed to investigating, disrupting and dismantling Transnational Criminal Organizations wherever they are located,” said HSI Executive Associate Director Katrina W. Berger. “The sanctions announced today will impede the illicit extraction of natural resources and the supply chain used by Russia to engage in criminal activity in Africa. Russia’s illicit mining operations in Africa have been identified and will continue to be targeted by HSI and our inter-agency and foreign partners.”

Through HSI’s collaboration with inter-agency partners including State Department, OFAC, and the Departments of Defense (DoD), Wagner Group officials and entities were identified and recommended for investigation, which helped lead to the formal designation of the Wagner Group as a transnational criminal organization.

Since its arrival in CAR in late 2017, the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group and companies formerly controlled by the now-deceased Yevgeny Prigozhin have established a vast security and business network in CAR, among other African counties. This network has advanced Russia’s destabilizing activities at the expense of CAR’s sovereignty, including the Wagner Group’s destructive operations and Wagner Group-linked companies’ involvement in illicit gold and diamond mining and logging. OFAC has taken previous action against several Wagner Group-linked companies in CAR, including Lobaye Invest, Midas Ressources SARLU, and Bois Rouge SARLU (Bois Rouge), now known as Wood International Group SARLU.

“The Russia-backed Wagner Group and its network of businesses have exploited the people and natural resources of the Central African Republic to advance the group’s agenda,” said Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “The United States will continue to use its sanctions authorities to disrupt those supporting Russia’s destabilizing activities in Africa.”

HSI and OFAC collaborated closely during the investigation of Mining Industries.

Last Updated: 05/30/2024
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