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U.S. targets three people, 16 groups in new Venezuela sanctions

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday on three people and 16 groups it says helped Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his government profit from food aid in the economically struggling country, the Treasury Department said.

The individuals are Amir Luis Saab, Luis Alberto Saab and David Nicolas Rubio, according to a Treasury statement.

In July, the Treasury Department said Colombian national Alex Nain Saab orchestrated a vast corruption network for food imports and distribution in Venezuela and profited from overvalued contracts, including the food subsidy programme.

“This action increases pressure on Alex Saab and his network, which have profited off the hunger of the Venezuelan people and facilitate systemic corruption in Venezuela,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the statement.

“Treasury will continue to target those who corruptly profit at the expense of the Venezuelan people.”

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Tim Ahmann and David Gregorio)

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