OFAC sanctions DPRK-controlled IT companies in China and Russia

US Treasury Building2Under its North Korea measures, OFAC has sanctioned China-based Yanbian Silverstar Network Technology Co. Ltd, its North Korean CEO, Jong Song Hwa, and its Russia-based sister company, Volasys Silver Star, in order to target “the revenue North Korea earns from overseas information technology (IT) workers”. US asset freezes imposed. See OFAC Notice and Treasury press release.

New US Executive Order to sanction foreign interference in US elections

Trump5Yesterday (12 September), the US issued a new Executive Order (EO) targeting foreign interference in US elections.

The EO requires the intelligence community and other Federal agencies to assess the extent of any foreign interference after every US election. If the US determines that any foreign interference has occurred, the EO authorises sanctions – some are asset freezing measures, others are to be designed and calibrated in light of specific facts – against any foreign individual, entity, or government that engages, assists, authorises, directs, sponsors, or otherwise supports foreign interference in a US election. See Statement from US President Trump, Presidential Message to the US Congress, and White House Factsheet.

UN & US add Ibrahim Jadhran to Libya sanctions list

UNSCThe UN Security Council has added Ibrahim Saeed Salim Jadhran to its Libya sanctions list for (inter alia) carrying out “armed actions and attacks against oil installations located in [Libya’s] oil crescent region that caused its destruction, the latest of which was on 14 June 2018”. As a result, Mr Jadhran will now be subject to a UN asset freeze and travel ban. See UN press release and summary of reasons for listing.

The US implemented this listing on 12 September 2018, see OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

US considers sanctions on China over Muslim detention camps

China-US.jpgThe US is considering sanctions against 7 Chinese officials, including Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party Chief in Xinjiang, over the region’s detention of an estimated one million people – predominantly ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minority groups – as part of the country’s wider counter-terrorism campaign. Chinese companies involved in building detention camps and surveillance systems used to track and monitor Uighurs are also being considered for US sanctions. It is reported that the sanctions would be imposed on human rights grounds, pursuant to the US Global Magnitsky Act.

SocGen expects €1.1bn penalty over US sanctions violations

shutterstock_373709431.jpgFrench multinational bank Société Générale issued a statement last week that it had “entered into a phase of more active discussions” with US authorities with a view to reaching a resolution in the coming weeks over allegations that it had processed US dollar transactions for persons subject to US sanctions. In consequence, SocGen has allocated approximately €1.1 billion to the matter, and expects the US penalty to be “almost entirely covered” by that amount.

OFAC designates Waleed Zein as global terrorist

US Treasury BuildingOFAC has designated Waleed Ahmed Zein as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (assets freeze imposed). According to the US Treasury press release, Mr Zein is a “terrorist in East Africa who established an intricate worldwide financial network to facilitate funds transfers for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)”. OFAC Notice here.

US criminal charges & OFAC sanctions for N Korean cyber attacks

OFAC2Pursuant to Executive Order 13722, OFAC has sanctioned one entity, Korea Expo Joint Venture, and one individual, Park Jin Hyok, for being “tied to the Government of North Korea’s malign cyber activities” (assets freeze and travel ban imposed).

The US Department of Justice has announced criminal charges against the same person, Park Jin Hyok, for his involvement in a “conspiracy to conduct multiple destructive cyberattacks around the world resulting in damage to massive amounts of computer hardware, and the extensive loss of data, money and other resources”. See OFAC Notice, Treasury press release and DoJ press release.

OFAC sanctions Syrian regime’s financial facilitators & oil procurement network

US Treasury Building2OFAC has sanctioned 4 individuals and 5 entities, pursuant to Executive Order 13582, for “facilitat[ing] financial transactions and shipments of fuel and weapons to the Syrian regime” (asset freezes imposed). See OFAC Notice and Treasury press release.

The individuals are: Yasir ‘Abbas; Adnan Al-Ali; Muhammad Al-Qatirji; and Fadi Nabih Nasser. The entities are: Abar Petroleum Service SAL; Al-Qatirji Company; International Pipeline Construction FZE; Nasco Polymers & Chemicals Co SAL (Off-Shore); and Sonex Investments Ltd.