The US Treasury Department last week announced new measures against Evgueni Prigozhin and his network in the Central African Republic. The Russian businessman, close to Vladimir Putin, is accused of interfering in the 2016 US election. He has since been on the US sanctions list. He is also accused of being the Kremlin’s supervisor in Africa through his connections to the Wagner group of mercenaries. This time, the sanctions are aimed at three Russians and two companies involved in Prigozhin’s operations in CAR.
In a press release, the US Treasury Department sanctions two mining companies operating in the Central African Republic belonging to Evgueni Prigozhin.
The first, the Russian company M Finans, deals with the mining of precious metals and provides private security services. Sir. Finans is said to be linked to a company owned by Evgueni Prigozhin in St. Petersburg, which is accused of indirectly supporting the “worsening of political tensions and international divisions” on behalf of Russia.
The other company, Lobaye Invest, was founded in CAR in 2017. It specializes in gold and diamond mining, “a lucrative sector” points out the press release.
These two companies are also accused of being associated with the activities of mercenaries from the Wagner group in the Central African Republic.
Among the three people targeted by state sanctions are two Lobaye Invest executives. The latter is simply quoted as being an employee of Prigozhin. All three are said to have been involved in the oligarch’s operations in CAR since 2017.
Their property as well as M Finance and Lobaye Invest owned by Americans is now frozen. The United States also bans its citizens from cooperating with them and warns foreigners that doing so would also be the target of U.S. sanctions.
In its statement, the US Treasury Department also announced sanctions against five other people and five companies in Russia and Finland. Accused of being in contact this time with the FSB, the Russian intelligence service, for circumventing previous US sanctions.