The Biden-Harris administration believes countering corruption is a core United States national security interest. As such, the United States takes action against perpetrators of corruption around the world.
To impose consequences on corrupt actors and to protect the U.S. financial system from abuse, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, sanctioned three Paraguayan nationals: Kassem Mohamad Hijazi, Khalil Ahmad Hijazi, and Liz Paola Doldan Gonzalez, for their roles in corruption in Paraguay. OFAC also designated five entities connected to the designated individuals. “The United States is committed to supporting Paraguay’s efforts to combat corruption and promote accountability for those who undermine government institutions,” said Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.
Kassem Mohamad Hijazi controls a global money laundering organization based in Ciudad Del Este, Paraguay. Kassem’s network, which was enabled by the bribery of government officials, operates through front companies and business relationships around the world, including the United States.
His associate Khalil Ahmad Hijazi was designated for providing material assistance to Kassem in connection with Kassem’s corrupt activities.
OFAC designated Paraguay-registered companies Espana Informatica, Emprendimientos Inmobiliarios Misiones S.A., Apolo Informatica S.A., and Mundo Informatico as being owned or controlled by Khalil, and Paraguay-registered company Espana Informatica S.A. for being owned or controlled by Kassem.
Liz Paola Doldan Gonzalez is one of Kassem’s associates. In her role as an intermediary, she paid bribes to port workers and Paraguayan customs officials to process imports and exports through Paraguay. Her company, Paraguay-based Mobile Zone International Import-Export, was designated by OFAC as being owned or controlled by Doldan.
Kassem, Khalil and Doldan have been sanctioned pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.
As a result of these sanctions, all property of designated individuals or entities that are within the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and U.S. persons are prohibited from conducting transactions with designated persons.
“These designations under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program show that we are committed to combatting corruption and promoting accountability for officials who undermine government institutions,” said OFAC Director Andrea M. Gacki. “The Treasury Department will continue to use our authorities to prevent illicit actors and their front companies from abusing the international financial system to hurt people around the world who play by the rules.”