OFAC sanctions Iraqi money services business over ISIS support

US Treasury Building2OFAC has designated Afaq Dubai, an Iraq-based money services business (MSB), as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (US asset freeze) for “moving money for [ISIS]”. The US Treasury press release says “[c]ontrary to what the name may imply, this MSB is located in Iraq and does not have any branches in the United Arab Emirates”. See OFAC Notice.

UN designates 3 vessels over illicit DPRK ship-to-ship transfers

Oil tanker ship.jpgThe UN Security Council has designated 3 vessels – Shang Yuan Bao, New Regent, and Kum Un San 3 – pursuant to para 12 of UNSC Resolution 2321 (2016) and para 6 of UNSC Resolution 2371 (2017), for engaging in illicit North Korea-related ship-to-ship transfers, “likely for oil”. The vessels will now be subject to de-flagging and a UN-wide port ban. See UN press release.

P&P Breakfast Seminar following full ‘snap back’ of US Iran sanctions – 6 Nov 2018

P&P Logo.jpgPeters & Peters will be hosting a breakfast seminar on the latest developments in economic sanctions on 6 November 2018 – the day after full ‘snap back’ of US secondary sanctions on Iran.

Anna Bradshaw will chair the event in discussion with leading sanctions practitioners including confirmed speakers Maya Lester QC of Brick Court Chambers and Barbara Linney of Miller & Chevalier in Washington DC.

Discussions will focus on the repercussions of US sanctions policy for EU businesses and the experience of the extended EU Blocking Statute to date. Panellists will also consider the interplay with global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards as well as with other US and EU sanctions programmes.

Venue

The Law Society – Reading Room

113 Chancery Lane

London, WC2A

Time

8:30 am – Registration

9:00 am – Start

10:00 am – Finish

Places are limited for this open invitation event. Please confirm your attendance as soon as possible by emailing events@petersandpeters.com (indicating any dietary requirements).

OFAC sanctions financial network supporting IRGC-linked paramilitary force

OFAC2OFAC has designated 20 entities as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (US asset freezes), for “providing financial support to the Basij Resistance Force (Basij), a paramilitary force subordinate to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)”.

According to the US Treasury press release, “the IRGC’s Basij militia recruits, trains, and deploys child soldiers to fight in IRGC-fueled conflicts across the region. This Iran-based network is known as Bonyad Taavon Basij, which is translated as Basij Cooperative Foundation, and is comprised of [(at least) the 20 entities designated today]”, of which are “deeply entrenched in major Iranian industries, such as automotive, mines and metals, tractor manufacturing, and banking.”

The 20 entities: Andisheh Mehvaran Investment Company; Bahman Group; Bandar Abbas Zinc Production Company; Bank Mellat; Bonyad Taavon Basij; Calcimin; Esfahan’s Mobarakeh Steel Company; Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company; Iran Zinc Mines Development Company; Mehr Eqtesad Bank; Mehr Eqtesad Financial Group; Negin Sahel Royal Investment Company; Parsian Bank; Parsian Catalyst Chemical Company; Qeshm Zinc Smelting And Reduction Company; Sina Bank; Tadbirgaran Atiyeh Iranian Investment Company; Taktar Investment Company; Technotar Engineering Company; and Zanjan Acid Production Company. See OFAC Notice.

UN adds Anjem Choudary to terrorism sanctions list

UN4Yesterday, the UN Security Council announced that it has added British national Anjem Choudary to its ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida sanctions list for “recruiting for” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” ISIL (asset freeze, travel ban, and arms embargo imposed). The UN Narrative Summary of Reasons for Listing notes that Mr Choudary was sentenced in the UK (September 2016) for inviting support for ISIL, and that since his conviction and imprisonment, he has not made any statements denouncing his allegiance to and support for ISIL.

EU extends ISIL & Al-Qaida sanctions by 1 year

EU5.jpgYesterday, the EU extended its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions measures until 31 October 2019. The EU also added Algerian national Hocine Bouguetof to the sanctions list (travel ban, asset freeze, and arms embargo imposed). See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1540 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1539.

UK judgment on insurance sanctions clause

Rolls Building

The UK Commercial Court has given judgment in Mamancochet Mining Ltd v Aegis Managing Agency Ltd & Others [2018] EWHC 2643 (Comm) holding that:

–          Defendants are liable to pay insurance claim under a marine insurance contract (covering the theft of shipments of steel billets).

–          This is because payment would not “expose” the underwriters to EU or US sanctions on Iran if paid out before 4 November 2018 (the end of the wind down period for reimposed US Iran sanctions) therefore the sanctions clause  (“no… insurer shall be liable to pay any claim… to the extent that… payment of such claim… would expose that… insurer to any sanction, prohibition or restriction under [UN] resolutions or the trade or economic sanctions, laws, or regulations of the [EU], [UK] or the [USA]”) does not apply.

–          The Court said that “exposure” to sanctions meant that the payment had to breach sanctions as opposed to exposing insurers to a real risk of breach.

–          The risk was insufficient here because US sanctions waivers were in place until 4 November 2018 (the wind down period following the US decision to withdraw participation in the JCPOA).

–          The Court did not reach a concluded view on the Claimant’s argument that reliance on the sanctions clause would breach the EU Blocking Regulation, but saw force in the argument that the Blocking Regulation was not engaged where the insurer’s liability to pay a claim is suspended under a sanctions clause because the insurer is not “complying” with a third country’s prohibition but is simply relying upon the terms of the policy to resist payment.

New EU chemical weapons sanctions regime

EU6The EU announced today that it has adopted a new sanctions regime to “address the use and proliferation of chemical weapons”. As a result, the EU will now be able to impose an EU-wide travel ban and/or asset freeze on those “involved in the development and use of chemical weapons anywhere, regardless of their nationality and location”. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544 and Council Regulation (EU) 2018/1542.

It is reported that Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin – the two Russian military intelligence officers allegedly involved in the Novichok poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, UK – will be the first targets sanctioned under the new regime.