“These actions, in conjunction with the Anti-Doping Agency (DEA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), represent a government-wide effort to combat corruption in the three border areas of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay,” said President Diplomacy Anthony Blingen.
“The United States has pledged to support Paraguay’s efforts to combat corruption and to promote accountability to those who harm government institutions,” the foreign secretary said in a statement.
The government of President Joe Biden has turned the fight against corruption into one of its foreign policy banners.
Sanctions under the global Magnitsky Act, which Washington punishes perpetrators of corruption in other countries, were used against Qasim Mohammed Hijazi, Khalil Ahmad Hijazi and Lis Paola Dolton Gonzalez.
España Informática SA, Emprendimientos Inmobiliarios Misiones SA, Apolo Informatica SA, Mundo Informatico Paraguay SA and Mobile Zone International Import-Export SRL were also barred from the US financial system.
As a customs broker since at least 2017, Qasim Mohammed Hijazi has been running a money laundering organization based in Ciudad del Este, accused by the U.S. Treasury, citing DEA and DHS office investigations.
Its “strong ties” with politicians, police, lawyers and currency brokers provide “security” and “economic power”, and allow its “contacts” with government officials to violate the law.
According to the Treasury, which operates the “Hijazi Network” in the United States, South America, Europe, the Middle East and China, police in the Aldo Paran துற department charge Kasem Mohammed Hijazi a monthly salary to work.
España Informática SA is used to coordinate with suppliers in the United States and China to import electronics to Paraguay to avoid taxes and currency devaluation. The annual volume of goods imported into Paraguay is “several hundred million dollars.”
Dolton Gonzalez was allowed to act as an intermediary in exports to the United States by bribing customs officials, and the 2019 goal of an action by the Paraguay Anti-Corruption Attorney’s Office was already targeted.
The Treasury recalled that 15 operations were carried out simultaneously in Ciudad del Este and Asuncion to dismantle the United States’ sophisticated electronics import network, which was then downgraded in tax revenue. According to press reports, the project earned at least $ 675 million.
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