WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo, son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, and two companies he owns or controls and uses to finance and launder money for the Ortega regime. OFAC also designated Distribuidor Nicaraguense de Petroleo S.A. (DNP), a company owned or controlled by Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo as well as by Nicaraguan Vice President and First Lady Rosario Maria Murillo De Ortega. DNP has been used by members of the Ortega family for their own personal enrichment from non-competitive contracts with Nicaraguan government institutions.
“Rafael Ortega is the key money manager behind the Ortega family’s illicit financial schemes. Treasury is targeting Rafael and the companies he owns and uses to launder money to prop up the Ortega regime at the expense of the Nicaraguan people,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
Today’s action is being taken pursuant to Executive Order 13851, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua” (E.O. 13851). As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these persons and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by such persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons. Further details on these designations are included below.
Rafael Antonio Ortega Murillo (Rafael Ortega)
Rafael Ortega is a key money manager for the Ortega family, along with Vice President of Nicaragua and First Lady Rosario Maria Murillo De Ortega. Rafael Ortega uses at least two companies he owns or controls, Inversiones Zanzibar, S.A and Servicio De Proteccion Y Vigilancia, S.A. to generate profits, launder money, and gain preferential access to markets for the Ortega regime.
Rafael Ortega is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13851 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods and services in support of, Vice President of Nicaragua and First Lady Rosario Maria Murillo De Ortega, who was designated on November 27, 2018, pursuant to E.O 13851.
Inversiones Zanzibar, S.A. and Servicio De Proteccion Y Vigilancia, S.A.
Rafael Ortega owns or controls Inversiones Zanzibar, S.A., which he uses to obscure the transfer of profits from Distribuidor Nicaraguense de Petroleo, S.A., also designated today, and as a front company to procure fuel stations used to avoid sanctions against the regime. In early 2019, Rafael Ortega diversified Ortega family financial holdings by purchasing gas stations under figurehead names ahead of expected sanctions against the regime.
Rafael Ortega also owns or controls Servicio De Proteccion Y Vigilancia, S.A., a security firm that has received millions in government contracts and provides protection services for Ortega family businesses.
Inversiones Zanzibar, S.A and Servicio De Proteccion Y Vigilancia, S.A., are being designated for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Rafael Ortega, whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13851.
Distribuidor Nicaraguense de Petroleo S.A. (DNP)
DNP is a chain of gas stations controlled by the Ortega family and is one of their principal assets. DNP was purchased with public money and then transferred to the Ortega family, and has benefited from non-competitive contracts with government institutions.
DNP is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13851 for being owned or controlled by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Vice President of Nicaragua and First Lady Rosario Maria Murillo De Ortega and Rafael Ortega, persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13851.For identifying information on the entities designated today.