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US Treasury Freezes Assets of African 'Drug Kingpins'

The United States has imposed sanctions on the son of the late Guinean president, Lansana Conte, and a man from Mozambique after they were designated "drug kingpins" by U.S. President Barack Obama.

In a letter to Congress Tuesday, President Obama said Ousmane Conte of Guinea, Mohamed Bachir Suleman of Mozambique and three others should be subject to sanctions under the Kingpin Act.

Ousmane Conte, whose father ruled Guinea for decades until his death in 2008, has previously acknowledged being involved in drug trafficking but has denied he was a ringleader.

A top Treasury Department official said the Mozambican, Suleman, is a large-scale drug trafficker and that his network contributed to a growing drug trade and related money laundering across Africa.

Three of Suleman's businesses were named as part of his trafficking network. This means that any of their U.S. assets are now frozen and U.S. citizens are forbidden to do business with them.

Mozambique has increasingly become a transit point for drugs, including cocaine and heroin, to Europe and South Africa.

The Treasury Department has named 87 drug kingpins around the world since 2000 and has issued sanctions against more than 700 entities.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.