Category: Sanctions

Russian oligarchs the ‘most sophisticated in the world’ at dodging KYC and evading sanctions

THE CAPACITY OF Russian oligarchs to work around rigorous KYC rules and international sanctions is the strongest in the world, a former FATF President has warned. Their methods were so capable that their identity may remain hidden even if a financial institution makes every effort to root out accurate beneficial ownership information, he suggested. In the same speech, he also hit out at the Russian FIU Rosfinmonitoring claiming that it was “firmly under the control” of the country’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and headed by a sixteen-year veteran of the Soviet KGB. Billingslea believes the FIU allows state-sponsored money-laundering schemes… Read More

Biden-Harris administration: 100-day review of Sanctions policy

When the Biden administration took office on 20 January 2021 it had already announced that there would be reviews of how the US deals with international partnerships. Under the previous administration the US had left the Paris accord on climate change and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Within a day of taking office the new administration set in motion the reversal of both the withdrawal from the Paris agreement and WHO membership. US secretary of the treasury Janet Yellen has said that one of her top priorities is to review the US use of sanctions as well as those that… Read More

New Magnitsky style sanctions regime will strengthen Britain’s toolkit for tacking global corruption and dirty money

Transparency International UK welcomes the announcement of a new corruption sanctions regime by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. The new regime gives Britain the power to designate individuals and companies involved in serious corruption around the world, adding another option to the UK’s growing array of sanctions for corruption offences. The UK Government has published an initial list of 22 designated persons who are the first targets of the regime. Those that are designated will have their British assets frozen and be banned from travelling to the UK. The regime is international in scope, enabling the UK to align itself with… Read More

UK Sanctions 22 Individuals for ‘Serious International Corruption’

The U.K. government has imposed asset freezes and travel bans against 22 individuals from six countries in its first set of measures under the nation’s new Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime. The move, announced this week, seeks to “prevent those responsible from entering the U.K. or laundering their ill-gotten assets here,” and “ensure that the U.K. is not a safe haven for those involved in serious corruption, including those who profit from it,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote in a statement delivered to Parliament on Monday. The first group of individuals sanctioned under the new regime hail from Russia, South Africa,… Read More

North Korea is the most isolated country on the planet, but it still finds ways to steal billions of dollars

The Department of Justice said last month that North Korea has used cyberattacks to steal over $1 billion since 2015 to fund its nuclear weapons program. Heavy sanctions, imposed by both the US and the UN, prevent North Korea from participating in the formal global economy. The regime often circumvents these sanctions, mostly through secretive ship-to-ship transfers of luxury goods, chemicals, and coal, which is North Korea’s primary export. North Korea’s nuclear program is essential to the Kim regime, and it devotes all the resources it can to increasing and improving its arsenal. The rise of digital currencies has created… Read More

Biden in no rush to lift Venezuela sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s administration is in “no rush” to lift U.S. sanctions on Venezuela but would consider easing them if President Nicolas Maduro takes confidence-building steps showing he is ready to negotiate seriously with the opposition, a White House official told Reuters. Signaling that the new U.S. president may be unlikely to loosen the screws on Venezuela anytime soon, the official emphasized that existing sanctions have enough special provisions to allow for humanitarian aid shipments to help Venezuelans cope with economic hardships and the COVID-19 pandemic. But the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Maduro’s Socialist… Read More

A renewed Sanctions Strategy for the EU

Last week the European Commission released a communication on the future of Europe’s economic and financial system. This document, formally issued to European institutions including the Parliament, the Council and the Central Bank, places sanctions at the forefront as a key tool in the Commission’s strategy, especially when seen in contrast with previous publications of this type. The Commission’s ambition for the economic and financial system relies on a vision for “openness, strength and resilience”, based on three pillars: “Promoting a stronger international role of the Euro” “Further developing EU financial market infrastructures and improving their resilience, including towards the… Read More

New EU sanctions regime is an important achievement but leaves the door open to dirty money

Global Witness, Transparency International EU, Open Society European Policy Institute and twelve other organisations welcome adoption of a new sanctions regime by the European Union to target human rights abusers worldwide. However, we urge the EU to adopt a complementary sanctions regime targeting non-EU nationals involved in corruption and align itself with other existing regimes in the US or Canada and in development in the UK. Today, the European Council announced adoption of the new Global Human RightsSanctions Regime. The regime tackles crimes against humanity, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings. It also targets those responsible for human trafficking, sexual violence,… Read More

UK Sanctions Statutory Instruments Review – Individual regime

The individual regime reviews are listed below. These documents are for the individual UK sanctions SI reviews and along with the numerical section review, they also separate the findings into high, medium and low impact sections.” AFGHANISTAN BOSNIA BURMA BURUNDI CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC CHEMICAL WEAPONS COUNTER TERRORISM (INTERNATIONAL) CYBER DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO EGYPT GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS GUINEA HAITI IRAN (HUMAN RIGHTS) IRAN IRAQ ISIL (DA’ESH) AND AL-QAIDA LEBANON (ASSASSINATION OF RAFIQ HARIRI AND OTHERS) LEBANON MALI MOLDOVA NICARAGUA NORTH KOREA REPUBLIC OF BELARUS REPUBLIC OF GUINEA-BISSAU RUSSIA SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO SOMALIA SOUTH SUDAN SUDAN SYRIA (UN) SYRIA VENEZUELA… Read More

Quarterly report to Parliament: 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 (‘TAFA 2010’)

Written Ministerial StatementOperation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen): Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020. This report also covers the UK’s implementation of the UN’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ), and the operation of the EU’s asset freezing… Read More

Legal monitors tell Deutsche Bank to quit Russia

NEW YORK STATE-appointed monitors want Deutsche Bank to pull out of business in Russia completely, according to new reports. The advice comes despite the bank’s ambitions for expansion in the country – although its relationship with Russia has not been void of scandal or allegations of wrongdoing in recent years. The monitors told senior executive leaders at Deutsche that efforts to minimise financial crime risks would not be enough to offset those that came with certain Russian clients, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday after speaking to a source familiar with the communications. Both monitors are attorneys from Chicago-based law… Read More

Sanctions and Transport

What are Transport Sanctions? From almost the first moment someone fashioned wood into a canoe to transport people and goods across a river there has been some form of maritime regulation. As with any regulations however, there will always be someone who seeks to circumvent them. Issues such as falsifying documents, obscuring ownership and hiding a ship’s registry have been endemic in the shipping industry for centuries. Unfortunately, there is no exception when it comes to enforcing sanctions. Such a multifaceted problem can never be tackled by one Government department alone. While OFSI plays its part in the implementation of… Read More