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Canada imposes new sanctions on Haitian politicians - statement

Canada on Friday imposed sanctions on three Haitian politicians, including a former president of the country's Chamber of Deputies, with Ottawa accusing them of aiding gang leaders and laundering their illicit earnings, according to a statement.

"These individuals are using their status as current or previous public office holders to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption," the statement said.

"Today's sanctions are intended to stop the flow of illicit funds and weapons and to weaken and disable Haiti's criminal gangs," said the statement, issued by the foreign ministry.

The sanctions will freeze any assets held in Canada by Senator Ronny Célestin, Former Senator Hervé Fourcand, and Former President of the Chamber of Deputies Gary Bodeau, a foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Haiti's gangs have expanded their power since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, and Prime Minister Ariel Henry has faced difficulties in restoring order to the country.

The sanctions, which implement a U.N. Security Council resolution and build on earlier actions imposed by the United States and Canada, aim to stop the illegal flow of money and weapons into Haiti that help criminal gangs, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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