JUBA – The United States on Thursday announced that it has now sanctioned the African Resources Corporation (ARC) and Winners Construction Company Limited (Winners), all are construction companies, for their links with South Sudanese businessman Benjamin Bol Mel who is also under United States sanctions.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it “designated ARC Resources Corporation Limited (ARC Resources) and Winners Construction Company Limited (Winners) for being owned or controlled by Benjamin Bol Mel (Bol Mel), an individual included in the Annex of E.O. 13818 in December 2017.”
According to the statement, “Bol Mel previously oversaw ABMC Thai-South Sudan Construction Company Limited (ABMC), which was awarded contracts worth tens of millions of dollars by the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) and allegedly received preferential treatment from high-level GoSS officials in a non-competitive process for selecting ABMC to do roadwork throughout South Sudan. ARC Resources is linked to ABMC, and has been used by senior members of GoSS for laundering money.”
Both ARC Resources and Winners have been used to evade sanctions and travel restrictions on Bol Mel, and have been awarded noncompetitive and substantial oil-backed contracts from the GoSS for road construction, it said.
“ARC Resources and Winners are designated pursuant to E.O. 13818 for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Bol Mel, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13818,” it added.
The notice added that “As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the persons above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.”
“In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited.
“The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.”