Standard Chartered agrees to 5-month extension of US DPA

Standard Chartered.jpgLast week (27 July), Standard Chartered announced that it has agreed to a further extension of its US Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) until 31 December 2018.

The bank entered into the DPA with the US Department of Justice and the New York County District Attorney’s Office in December 2012 over breaches of sanctions against Iran and other countries.

In the announcement, the bank states that it has “taken a number of steps and made significant progress toward compliance with the requirements of the DPA and enhancing its sanctions compliance programme, but that the programme has not yet reached the standard required by the DPA”. Furthermore, that the bank will continue to cooperate with an ongoing US sanctions-related investigation, namely, whether it had continued to breach sanctions by processing US dollar transactions for Iranian entities even after the DPA was signed in 2012.

US designates 3 Pakistani nationals as global terrorists

US Flag.jpgToday, the US has designated 3 Pakistani nationals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (asset freezes imposed).

Hameed ul Hassan, Abdul Jabbar and Abdul Rehman al-Dakhil were designated for their links with Lashkar-e Tayyiba, a US-designated terrorist organisation based in Pakistan. See OFAC Notice, Treasury press release, and Department of State press release.

EU sanctions 6 entities for Crimea bridge

EU1As foreshadowed, today the EU has added 6 entities to its sanctions that target those who undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They have been listed for their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.

The 6 entities are: AO “Institute Giprostroymost — Saint-Petersburg”; PJSC Mostotrest; JSC Zaliv Shipyard; Stroygazmontazh Corporation (SGM Group); Stroygazmontazh Most OOO; and CJSC VAD. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1085, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1072, and EU press release.  As we reported, Arkady Rotenberg, the reasons for whose original listing were annulled by the European court, was re-listed in July 2017 for being said to benefit from Stroygazmontazh’s construction contract for the bridge.

Germany drops sanctions on Turkey, USA threatens Turkey sanctions for detention of US pastor

Turkey flag.jpgGermany has lifted its economic sanctions on Turkey after Ankara ended its two-year state of emergency. Its sanctions consisted of a €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) limit on export guarantees to Turkey imposed in July 2017 after the detention of a German human rights campaigner and five other activists, including the head of Amnesty International in Turkey.

Meanwhile last week (26 July), US President Donald Trump tweeted that the US will impose “large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson”. Andrew Brunson, an evangelical minister, has been detained on charges of involvement in a failed 2016 coup in Turkey. He has recently been moved to house arrest. In response, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release stating that “[n]o one can give orders to Turkey and threaten our country. The rhetoric of threat against Turkey is unacceptable. … As regards the Brunson case, necessary information has been provided to our U.S. counterparts on various occasions and it has been clearly expressed that this issue is totally within the competence of the independent Turkish judiciary.”

On 26 July, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a Bill committing the US to opposing any international credit offers to Turkey. The Bill will now move to the full chamber of the Senate. A similar Bill was also introduced in the US House of Representatives.

USA & France coordinate sanctions on global procurement network for Syria’s chemical weapons programme

syria flag.jpgYesterday, OFAC designated 8 individuals and 5 entities, pursuant to Executive Order 13382 (imposes asset freezes), for being “key components of a vast network procuring electronics on behalf of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), the agency responsible for the development of Syria’s chemical weapons”. In a coordinated action, the French government also renewed asset freezes on 24 entities and individuals from the same procurement network for “providing an array of support to the SSRC”. See OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

Maya Lester QC named Practitioner of the Year in WorldECR Awards 2018

Maya-Lester.jpgMaya Lester QC has been given the World Export Controls Review practitioner of the year award (announced here). Maya is the first non American to win this award since its launch in 2015, due to what they describe as her “truly significant” contribution to sanctions law and its ongoing development. The WorldECR Awards “recognise outstanding work, vision, best practice, commercial benefit to the company, and contribution to international security, of organisations and individuals working in the fields of export control and sanctions compliance and non-proliferation”. They describe Maya as “a top-of-the-class performer at the top of her game”.

Lord Anderson of Ipswich KBE QC who nominated Maya, spoke of the ‘remarkable legal practice and experience Maya has developed in the field of sanctions, which is unparalleled in its depth and breadth … the vision, energy and commitment Maya gives to the world of sanctions, in particular by her daily work on the sanctions blog she co-founded … [and her] position as an authority and thought-leader on sanctions not only for clients seeking her assistance, but also for governments, legislatures and journalists.’

UK Government response to Moscow’s Gold report

Parliament6

We summarised in May the recommendations of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK.  The Government has now published its response, which (inter alia):

  • Emphasises the Government’s commitment to counter Russia’s “malign activity” and “tackling illicit finance” including using sanctions and Unexplained Wealth Orders.
  • Explains (in response to the committee’s question as to how EN+ could float on the London Stock Exchange given Russia sanctions) that EN+ was not sanctioned when listed, the Financial Conduct Authority had concluded there would be no sanctions breach, and the US designation under CAATSA in April 2018 was not something to which the UK was party.
  • States that it has “established several multilateral working groups on specific sanctions regimes, including one on Russia”, will publish the names of people to be sanctioned by the UK for gross human rights violations under the new Sanctions & AML Act 2018, and undertakes that when it reports to Parliament each year on its sanctions regulations it will highlight and respond to recommendations made by Parliamentary committees.
  • Responds in detail to the report’s suggestion that it limit the issuance of Russian debt on global markets and prohibit the purchase of bonds in which a sanctioned entity has acted as bookrunner.
  • Reports on progress on registers of beneficial ownership in overseas territories.