President Donald Trump has moved to freeze the assets of a member of one of his golf clubs.
Trump has accused Venezuelan businessman Samark Lopez Bello of being the “frontman” in a narco-trafficking scheme run by the country’s executive vice president, Tareck Zaidan El Aissami.
El Aissami, who has an estimated worth of $3 billion, has been the target of American sanctions under accusation that he has facilitated the shipment of more than 1,000 kilos of narcotics from Venezuela to the United States and Mexico. President Nicolás Maduro named El Aissami to the post earlier in 2017. Lopez Bello is accused of having “provided material assistance, financial support, or goods or services in support of the international narcotics trafficking of, and acting for or on behalf of El Aissami.”
Lopez Bello’s assets have been frozen in a number of companies and properties, including three downtown Miami luxury condos worth some $7 million.
El Assaimi, whose fortune is estimated at more than $3 billion by the U.S. government, was named to his post by President Nicolás Maduro earlier this year. The U.S. claims he facilitated the shipment of more than 1,000 kilos of narcotics from Venezuela to either the U.S. or Mexico.
The Miami Herald reported on Bello’s membership, having acquired a confidential member list. Membership at Trump National Doral can run $50,000 per year, according to the Herald. Trump purchased the Doral resort, located about a half-hour from Miami, in a bankruptcy sale in 2012. He has since embarked on a large-scale renovation of the resort, including its guests rooms and golf courses, bringing in Gil Hanse to fully renovate the famed Blue Monster course that once hosted the PGA Tour for a half-century.
President Trump’s Trump Organization — from which he claims he has stepped away in terms of management — owns or manages 17 golf properties around the world, including four in Florida.