The form enables reporting of frozen assets, information about a suspected designated person an sanctions breaches. It gives information about the information OFSI requires in each of those areas. See OFSI blog here.
(i) The purchase of any debt owed to the Venezuelan government (including accounts receivable);
(ii) Any debt owed to the Venezuelan government that is pledged as collateral after 21 May 2018 (including accounts receivable); and
(iii) The sale, transfer, assignment, or pledging as collateral by the Venezuelan government of any equity interest in any entity in which the Venezuelan government has a 50% or greater ownership interest.
Last week, OFAC sanctioned (inter alia) a number of current and former officials of the Venezuelan government (previous blog).
Today, OFAC designated Venezuelan national Diosdado Cabello Rondón (First-Vice President of President Maduro’s political party), pursuant to Executive Order 13692, for being a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela. OFAC also designated 3 other individuals – José David Cabello Rondón (Mr Rondón’s brother), Marleny Josefina Contreras Hernández (Mr Rondón’s wife), and Rafael Alfredo Sarria Diaz (Mr Rondón’s “front man”) – for being current or former officials of the Government of Venezuela, or for acting for or on behalf of designated individuals as key figures in Mr Rondón’s “corruption network”. As a result, US travel bans and asset freezing measures apply to all designated individuals.
OFAC also sanctioned 3 Florida-based companies that are owned or controlled by Mr Diaz, namely: SAI Advisors Inc; Noor Plantation Investments LLC; and 11420 Corp (asset freezes imposed). Furthermore, 14 properties in Florida and New York, owned by Mr Diaz directly or through his companies have been blocked. See OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.
On 12 April 2018, the EU adopted, firstly, Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/568, which extended for 1 year its Iran human rights sanctions (previous blog), and, secondly, Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/569, which amended the statements of reasons relating to 2 people on its Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) sanctions list (previous blog). In relation to the Iran Decision, the EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Moldova have aligned themselves with that measure. In relation to the DRC Decision, the EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova and Armenia have aligned themselves with that measure.
On 19 April 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/611, which added 4 people to its North Korea sanctions list (previous blog). The EU has announced that Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova and Armenia have aligned themselves with that measure.
Yesterday, OFAC designated “Hizballah financier” Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi and “Hizballah’s representative to Iran” Abdallah Safi-Al-Din as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), pursuant to Executive Order 13224. The following 5 companies were also designated as SDGTs for being owned or controlled by Mr Bazzi: Global Trading Group NV (Belgian energy services conglomerate); Euro African Group LTD (Gambia-based petroleum and petroleum products company); Africa Middle East Investment Holding SAL (Lebanon-based); Premier Investment Group SAL Offshore (Lebanon-based); and Car Escort Services S.A.L. Off Shore (CES) (Lebanon-based import/export company; also linked to another SDGT). As a result, asset freezing measures have been imposed on all individuals and companies designated in this action. See OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.
These designations follow President Trump’s decision last week to cease US participation in the JCPOA and to reimpose US sanctions on Iran. They have been made in “furtherance of the goal of addressing the totality of Iran’s malign activities and regionally destabilizing behaviour, including that of Hizballah”, and they “complement” 3 other recent OFAC actions, see here, here and here.
In light of President Trump’s decision to cease US participation in the JCPOA and to reimpose US sanctions on Iran, the President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has announced that, tomorrow at 10.30am, the EU Commission will “[launch] the process [of activating] the ‘blocking statute’ from 1996”, in order to “protect European companies” from the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions. Furthermore, that a decision had been made to “allow the European Investment Bank to facilitate European companies’ investment in Iran”.
Yesterday, the US Department of State designated ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, pursuant to s 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Department also designated ISIS-GS and its “leader”, Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists, pursuant to section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224 (asset freezes imposed).
ISIS-GS is “primarily based in Mali” and operates “along the Mali-Niger border”. The group has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the 4 October 2017 attack on joint US-Nigerian patrol in the region of Tongo Tongo, Niger, which is said to have killed 4 US soldiers and 5 Nigerian soldiers. See OFAC Notice and US Department of State press release.
In Brussels yesterday, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with the Foreign Ministers of France (Jean-Yves Le Drian), Germany (Heiko Maas), the UK (Boris Johnson) and Iran (Mohammad Javad Zarif) to discuss a workplan for the “continued, full and effective implementation of the Iran nuclear deal”, in light of President Trump’s decision last week to withdraw US participation from the deal and to reimpose US sanctions on Iran.
In a press conference following the ministerial meeting, Federica Mogherini stated that an EU blocking statute was on the agenda for discussion (today, 16 May 2018) with the College of the European Commission.