OFAC amends DRC sanctions regulations

US Treasury BuildingToday, OFAC issued an amendment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Sanctions Regulations to implement Executive Order 13671 and to incorporate other technical and conforming changes. This regulatory amendment will take effect upon publication in the US Federal Register tomorrow (15 November 2018). See OFAC Notice.

Glencore subpoena from US DoJ

Glencore.jpgGlencore Ltd (a subsidiary of Glencore plc) announced today that it has received a subpoena from the US Department of Justice to produce documents relating to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and US money laundering and sanctions legislation. The requested documents relate to the Glencore Group’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Venezuela from 2007 onwards.

The subpoena comes weeks after Glencore settled a dispute in the DRC by agreeing to pay US-sanctioned Israeli businessman Dan Gertler (Glencore’s former business partner in the DRC) money he is owed from copper and cobalt mines. Glencore said that it would make the royalty payments to Mr Gertler in euros to comply with US sanctions.

Third countries align with EU’s Iran, DPRK and DRC sanctions

EU5.jpgOn 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.

EU updates reasons for 2 entries on DRC sanctions list

DRC1.jpgThe EU has amended the statements of reasons relating to 2 people on its Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) sanctions list: Alex Kande Mupompa (‘Former Governor of Kasai Central’) and Lambert Mende (‘Minister of Communications and Media’). See Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/569 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/566.

Switzerland mirrors EU sanctions on 14 associates of DRC President Kabila

Switzerland has joined the EU in imposing asset freezes and travel bans on 14 associates of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s president Joseph Kabila. They were added to the EU’s sanctions over the course of 2016 and 2017.

President Kabila was due to stand down as President at the end of 2016, under a constitutional two-term limit. However, he has remained in power amidst growing concerns about human rights abuses against the civilian population. The newly listed people include incumbent and former ministers, provincial governors, and high-ranking members of the Congolese armed forces. They are accused of hindering the conduct of elections through acts of violence and repression, violating the rule of law, and committing serious human rights abuses.

The Swiss government’s press release is here.

UK froze £580k under DRC sanctions

HM Treasury.jpgIn response to a written Parliamentary Question, HM Treasury has said that from 23 July 2005 until 30 September 2016, it froze approximately £580,000 of funds in the UK pursuant to the EU’s Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) sanctions regime (Council Decision 2010/788/CFSP (as amended) and Council Regulation (EC) 1183/2005 (as amended)). Between those dates, 38 people and 9 entities were subject to EU asset freezing measures. The figures for 2017 have yet to be finalised.

EU implements UN DRC sanctions listings

EU6Implementing a decision of the UN Security Council (previous blog here), the EU has added 4 people to its Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) sanctions list, see Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/202 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/197.

The individuals are Muhindo Akili Mundos, General in the DRC’s armed forces, Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga Wa Bafunkwa Kanonga, Katangan rebel leader, Guidon Shimiray Mwissa, founder of the NDC-R armed group, and Lucien Nzambamwita, military leader of the FDLR armed group.

The EU Notice explains that these individuals may submit a request to the UN’s Focal Point for a reconsideration of their respective UN designations and may challenge the EU’s decision to implement the UN designations in the EU General Court. The US implemented these designations last week (previous blog here). UK OFSI Notice here.