December 15, 2023

OFAC designates 2 Afghan officials and 44 entities for their roles in transnational corruption scheme

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated two former Afghan government officials, Mir Rahman Rahmani and his son Ajmal Rahmani, collectively known as “the Rahmanis,” along with 44 entities based in Europe and the Middle East that were part of a network that the duo allegedly used to engage in a transnational corruption scheme while in office.  According to OFAC, the Rahmanis’ enriched themselves by misappropriating millions of dollars in US-government-funded contracts using companies that they owned or controlled to inflate prices, rig bids and eliminate competition when securiing government contracts.  Representatives for the Rahmanis also allegedly bribed Afghan Customs officials and others in an effort to avoid paying import taxes and obtain other financial benefits in order to bolster profits for their personal gain.  In addition, the Rahmanis allegedly paid millions of dollars to Members of Parliament and other election officials in Afghanistan in order to secure votes for elected positions in the Afghan Parliament.

The Rahmanis and their network of 44 entities were designated by OFAC on December 11, 2023 pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act targeting perpetrators of corruption and serious human rights abuse around the world.  The US Department of State also concurrently designated the Rahmanis and their immediate family members under Section 7031(c) of the annual Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act for being public officials involved in significant acts of corruption.  As a result of the OFAC designations, all property and interests in property of the designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked.

US Department of Treasury Press Release