U.N. committee imposes assets freeze on 2 men, 30 companies connected to Liberia | VailDaily.com

U.N. committee imposes assets freeze on 2 men, 30 companies connected to Liberia

UNITED NATIONS – A U.N. sanctions committee has imposed a travel ban and frozen the assets of two men linked to an alleged arms dealer with ties to former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, who is wanted on war crimes charges in Sierra Leone, the United Nations announced Thursday.The Security Council’s Liberia sanctions committee also froze the assets of 30 companies believed connected to Taylor, who was granted political asylum by Nigeria in 2003 as rebels attacked the Liberian capital. He was later indicted by the U.N.-backed war-crimes tribunal for backing Sierra Leone rebels in their insurgency.The two men are Richard Chichakli, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen, identified as alleged arms dealer Victor Bout’s “U.S.-based chief financial officer,” and Valeriy Naydo, described as Bout’s No. 2 in South Africa and said to be connected to front companies that supplied weapons to Liberian fighters, the sanctions committee said.The committee’s decision, announced Thursday but made Wednesday, follows nearly identical action by the U.S. Treasury Department against the two men and the 30 companies in April. That action order was aimed at Taylor’s relatives and associates. A similar U.N. Security Council resolution was passed last year.In May, 2001, the Security Council also approved arms and diamond embargoes and a travel ban against Liberia after determining that Taylor’s government had helped rebels in Sierra Leone. A new ban on the timber trade took effect in July 2003.Bout, a national of Tajikistan, has been associated with the rebels in Angola and Liberian fighters headed by Taylor. Belgian authorities implicated him in the trade of so-called blood diamonds, which fueled several wars in Africa.Vail, Colorado

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