WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami for playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking.
In a statement, U.S. Treasury Department also blacklisted Samark Jose Lopez, a Venezuelan national in the United States, as El Aissami's primary frontman.
Any assets those individuals may hold under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them, said the statement.
The action is "the culmination of a multi-year investigation under the Kingpin Act to target significant narcotics traffickers in Venezuela and demonstrates that power and influence do not protect those who engage in these illicit activities," said John Smith, a senior official of the Treasury Department.
El Aissami was appointed as executive vice president of Venezuela in January 2017. He previously served as governor of Aragua state and Venezuela's minister of interior and justice.