Fighting corruption and human rights violations around the world

US Embassy, ​​Port-au-Prince
Public Affairs Office
December 9, 2022
press release

The US State Department announces widespread corruption proceedings against Rommel Bell, former Director General of the General Administration of Customs and Ronnie Celestin, Senator

On International Anti-Corruption Day and on the eve of International Human Rights Day, the United States is taking the following steps to promote accountability for corruption and human rights violations around the world. These actions include monetary penalties, based on Executive Order (EO) 13818, which builds on and implements the Global Magnitsky Act, and four additional executive orders that each state considers. The measures also include visa restrictions under Section 7031(c) of the Government Appropriations, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Act of 2022 (Div. K, PL 117-103), rather than deferred under the Permanent Appropriations Act of 2023. (Div. A, PL 117-180) and under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

All property and interests in property of persons or entities designated under Executive Orders (EOs) 14024, 13818, 13722, 13687, or 13553 that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. nationals are prohibited and must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Department of State. Cabinet. In addition, all entities owned, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by one or more prohibited persons are also prohibited. Unless authorized by a general or special license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempted, all transactions by United States citizens or within (or transiting through) the United States involving property or interests in named property are prohibited. or restricted persons. Prohibitions include making any contribution or supply of money, goods or services by or for the benefit of any Restricted Person or receiving any contribution or supply of money, goods or services from any such person.

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Section 7031(c) provides that if there is reliable information that officials of foreign governments are involved in significant corruption or gross violation of human rights, such persons and their immediate family members are generally not permitted to enter the United States and must be named publicly or privately. Section 212(a)(3)(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act gives the Secretary of State grounds to exclude any alien whose entry he determines would have adverse consequences for the foreign policy of the United States.

Measures taken for major corruption

Haiti

Rommel BellFormer Director General of the General Administration of Customs

  • Under Section 7031(c), the State Department designated Rommel Bell to abuse his public office by engaging in corrupt activities that undermined the integrity of the Haitian government. As part of this procedure, an immediate family member was also named.

Ronnie CelestineSenator

  • Under Section 7031(c), the Department of State designated Ronnie Celestin for abusing his public office by engaging in corrupt activities that undermined the integrity of the Haitian government. As part of this procedure, four immediate family members were also recruited.

To read the full version of the steps the United States is taking to promote accountability for corruption and human rights abuses around the world, please visit: https://www.state.gov/combating-global-corruption-and-human-rights-abuses/

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