Canada imposes new sanctions on Haitian politicians: statement

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Canada on Friday imposed sanctions on three Haitian politicians, including a former president of the country’s Chamber of Deputies, and Ottawa accused them of aiding gang leaders and laundering their illicit proceeds, according to a statement.

“These individuals are using their status as current or former public office holders to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption,” the statement said.

“Today’s sanctions are aimed at stopping the flow of illicit funds and weapons and weakening and disabling Haiti’s criminal gangs,” said the statement, issued by the Foreign Ministry.

The sanctions will freeze any assets held by Senator Ronny Célestin, former Senator Hervé Fourcand and former Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Gary Bodeau in Canada, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Haiti’s gangs have expanded their power since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, and Prime Minister Ariel Henry has struggled to restore order to the country.

The sanctions, which implement a UN Security Council resolution and build on previous actions by the United States and Canada, are aimed at stopping the illegal flow of money and weapons into Haiti that help criminal gangs, the ministry said. .

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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