Selin ATAY-TDO- The Trump administration has sanctioned three Libyans, a Malta-based company and a cargo ship for their involvement in a smuggling network. The U.S says it is contributing to the instability of the North African nation.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin G. Muzinich said: "The United States is committed to exposing illicit networks exploiting Libya's resources for their own profit while hurting the Libyan people,"
Stating the smuggling network "contributed significantly to destabilizing the country”, Libya's National Oil Corporationsaid it "welcomes" the sanctions in a statement.
The National Oil Corporation confirmed that "it will continue to monitor all smuggling operations of all kinds and in the various regions of Libya."
Also, the National Oil Corporation “will continue to submit its reports to the office of the attorney general and the sanctions committee of the Security Council and follow up the legal procedures to hold accountable those involved in these illegal acts."
According to the Treasury, Wadi's trafficking operation transported drugs from Libya's Zuwarah Port to Hurd's bank, a well-established location of illegal maritime transactions outside of Malta's territorial waters.
"Today's sanctions show that the United States will take concrete actions in response to those who undermine Libya's peace, security or stability," said in a statement issued by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.