A United Nations sanctions committee imposed a travel ban and assets freeze on two men linked to alleged illegal arms dealer Victor Bout and former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, the U.N. said 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 is also wanted on war crimes charges in Sierra Leone.
The two men are Richard Chichakli, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen identified as 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 was taken under Executive Order 13348, 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 after determining that Taylor's government had helped rebels in Sierra Leone. A new ban on the timber trade took effect in July 2003, the AP reported.
Bout, a national of Tajikistan, has been associated with the UNITA rebels of Jonas Savimbi in Angola; the Liberian fighters headed by Taylor; and Congo. Belgian authorities implicated him in the trade of so-called blood diamonds, which fueled several wars in Africa. A.M.