The U.S. Treasury Department designated five senior Libyan government officials Friday along with two entities owned or controlled by Dictator Muammar Gaddafi's children.
Those targeted include Gaddafi's chief of staff Tohami Khaled, Prime Minister Ali al-Mahmoudi Al Baghdadi, a Gaddafi confidant: oil minister Shukri Ghanem; and Bashir Saleh, head of Libya's Internal Security Service.
"We will continue to expose and impose sanctions on senior Libyan government officials who choose to remain at Qadhafi's side," Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said in a statement. "They have a choice to make, and we will make that choice as stark as possible."
Last month, Treasury designated Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa and 16 major entities owned or controlled by the Libyan government. When Koussa defected, he was removed from the list in hopes it might serve as an incentive for others to follow.
Designations freeze the assets of those targeted and make it illegal for people in the United States to engage in any transactions with them.
The two entities designated Friday – the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation and the Waatasemu Charity Association – are controlled by Gaddafi's son Saif and daughter Aisha, respectively.
The moves fall under an executive order President Obama signed in February freezing assets belonging to Gaddafi and his regime after the violent repression of a popular uprising. "To date, more than $34 billion in Government of Libya assets have been frozen," the Treasury statement said.