New Nicaragua-related Sanctions
BANCORP was designated for its support to vice-president Rosario Murillo and “transactions involving corruption by, on behalf of, or otherwise related to the Government of Nicaragua or a current official of the Government of Nicaragua.” Additionally, OFAC asserted that President Daniel Ortega’s regime was using BANCORP to launder and hide monies belonging to Alba de Nicaragua, S.A. (ALBANISA) and Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN); and to provide banking services to persons that had been previously sanctioned by OFAC. OFAC further asserted “BanCorp, as a subsidiary of ALBANISA, is ultimately owned by PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA, S.A. (PdVSA) and, as such, was blocked by operation of law following the January 28, 2019, designation of PdVSA.”
Laureano Ortega Murillo was designated for his involvement in certain acts of corruption as Promotion Advisor of the Nicaraguan government agency ProNicaragua. OFAC noted that Ortega Murillo participated in the Nicaragua Grand Canal Project and used his position to launder money and to acquire property along the planned canal route.
Accordingly, all property or interest in property of BANCORP and Laureano Ortega Murillo within or transiting U.S. jurisdiction has been blocked. Additionally, if they are not authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with the designated persons or entities in which they have, directly or indirectly, 50% or greater ownership interest.