By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. June 15, 2018: The Donald Trump administration this week fired what seems to be a clear warning shot at allegations of corruption globally and in the region by sanctioning a Caribbean senator for allegedly “engaging in corrupt acts.”
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Dominican Republic Senator Felix Ramon Bautista Rosario “for engaging in corrupt acts, including in relation to reconstruction efforts in Haiti,” according to a US administration statement.
The US government accused the senator of making millions of dollars from post-earthquake reconstruction projects that he never completed in Haiti, following the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake.
He is also accused of engaging in significant acts of corruption in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti, The senator in the past has been publicly accused of money laundering and embezzlement and has also reportedly engaged in bribery in relation to his current position.
In Haiti, Bautista allegedly used his connections to win public works contracts to help rebuild the country following several natural disasters. In one instance, his company was reportedly paid over $10 million for work it had not completed.
The U.S. Department of Treasury, under the Global Magnitsky Act, also sanctioned five entities in the Dominican Republic that are owned or controlled by Bautista including Constructora Hadom SA, Soluciones Electricas Y Mecanicas Hadom S.R.L., Seymeh Ingenieria SRL, Inmobiliaria Rofi SA and Constructora Rofi SA.
The Magnitsky Act allows the executive branch of the US government to administer visa bans and targeted financial sanctions against foreign individuals and entities responsible for engaging in corrupt activity or committing human rights violations.
As a result, any assets that Bautista owns within U.S. jurisdiction will now be blocked and U.S. citizens are banned from doing business with him.
In addition to the sanctions on Senator Bautista, the Department also publicly sanctioned his spouse, Sarah Haydee Rojas Pena, their minor children and his other children including: Felix Ramon Bautista Abreu, Felix Jose Bautista Abreu, Felix Augusto Bautista Abreu, Felix Miguel Bautista Soler, Felix Fidel Bautista Grullon, and Yanilssa Bautista Bencosme.
“These actions are part of our continuing campaign to hold accountable government officials and other actors involved in human rights abuse and corrupt activities,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “Senator Bautista used his position to engage in corruption, including profiting off of humanitarian efforts related to rebuilding Haiti. The United States will continue to use Global Magnitsky and our other authorities to ensure that corrupt actors and human rights violators cannot use our financial system to enable and support their abhorrent activities and exploit the innocent.”
Senator Bautista Rosario, 55, has been a member of the Senate of the Dominican Republic since 2010. He was sworn in as Senator of the Dominican Republic by the Province of San Juan on August 16, 2010.