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US slaps sanctions on woman accused of helping Saadi Gadhafi, son of slain Libyan leader

Mahmud Turkia / AFP - Getty Images file

Saadi Gadhafi, son of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, speaks during a press conference in Tripoli on January 2010.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed financial sanctions on a South African woman accused of supporting the son of slain Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in his efforts to overturn the country's transition towards democracy.

The U.S. Treasury said it was targeting 40-year-old Dalene Sanders because she was moving money from banks accounts in Uganda at the direction of Saadi Gaddafi, the former dictator's son. In February, she also met with Ugandan officials to discuss political asylum in that country for Saadi Gadhafi.

Cynthia Vanier is being held in a Mexican jail on suspicion of attempting to help members of the Gadhafi family out of Libya as the Libyan regime was crumbling. CBC's Dave Seglins talks with Vanier about her situation.

"We are determined to oppose all those who seek to foster violence, fear, or instability in Libya," David Cohen, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

The Treasury's designation of Sanders is part of its broader goal of preventing funds that belong to the Libyan people from being misused, Cohen said.

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As a result of Treasury's action, Americans are prohibited from dealing with Sanders and any of her assets under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

Orly Weinerman claims she had a romantic relationship with Saif Gadhafi, the jailed son of the former Libyan dictator, and appeals for his release. NBC News' Karl Bostic reports.

After his father’s regime was toppled, Saadi Gadhafi fled to Niger where he has been under house arrest. The new Libya government has moved to extradite him.

In February, he gave a phone interview to the Al Arabiya news in which said a popular uprising is brewing and his return to Libya is inevitable.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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