On 17 September, the Atlantic Council published the latest edition of this publication which reviews the Summer’s designations and delistings with data visualisations and breaks down how China has applied its new Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law. It explores the current state of sanctions against the Taliban and the growing effort to combat global corruption and human rights abuses through sanctions policy. Since the start of this year, China has more than doubled its total sanctions. But its expanding regime is no aberration. Since January, Russia, France, Switzerland, Canada, the EU, UK, and US have all seen a substantial increase in their total sanctions. In fact, the only major listing authority that has not seen a total increase has been the UN.
On 13 September, the Belfer Center published the slides from a presentation on the evolving global threat to nuclear and radiological transports to the Transport Security Unified Stakeholders Group. It says that attacks on transports are a constant threat, and that the theft of plutonium or highly-enriched uranium (HEU) could lead to a horrifying catastrophe, and that sabotage could also provide a serious threat. It also refers to the risk from a so-called “dirty bomb” (or a radiological dispersal device or RDD). It concludes that there remains a serious remaining risk.
Field Fisher has published an article saying that, in August, the Information Commissioner’s Office launched a consultation on how organisations can continue to protect personal data when it is transferred outside of the UK. This consultation by the ICO has been eagerly anticipated, after the European Commission approved the final text of the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC) on 4 June. The ICO has invited responses to the consultation by 7 October. This is the first of a series of 3 posts covering these separate aspects of the consultation.
On 17 September, Transparency International reported on an organised network of institutional patronage behind the looting of endangered mukula wood in Zambia. Fresh revelations come nearly 2 years after an Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) initial report about the alleged “Mukula cartel” which implicated top government officials and politically exposed persons under the previous Patriotic Front government. These implicated top government officials and politically exposed persons (PEP) under the previous Patriotic Front government.
On 17 September, OFAC announced that it was designating members of a network of Lebanon- and Kuwait-based financial conduits that fund Hizballah, as well as designating members of an international network of financial facilitators and front companies that operate in support of Hizballah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). Together, it says, these networks have laundered tens of millions of dollars through regional financial systems and conducted currency exchange operations and trades in gold and electronics for the benefit of both Hizballah and the IRGC-QF. OFAC says that Hizballah, with the support of the IRGC-QF, uses the revenues generated by these networks to fund terrorist activities, as well as to perpetuate instability in Lebanon and throughout the region. 13 individuals and 8 entities have been listed. In addition, the existing entry for Lebanese nation Ali Qasir has been amended.
On 17 September, the Krebs on Security blog reported that a jury in California has reached a guilty verdict in the trial of Matthew Gatrel, charged in 2018 with operating 2 online services that allowed paying customers to launch powerful distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Internet users and websites.
On 17 September, the Times of Malta reported that Ali Muuse Igaale, 40, a leading member of the local Somali community who was found with €160,000 in undeclared cash at the airport in August has pleaded not guilty to money laundering. He was booked on a flight to Istanbul. He has lived in Malta for 8 years and runs a barber and a clothing outlet. A court has been told that the source of the €160,000 that had been found in his possession could not be traced, and that €10,000, handed back to Igaale, while on remand in prison, as the maximum amount of money permissible in terms of cash control regulations, appeared to have since gone missing.
On 17 September, France 24 reported that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has imposed sanctions against the junta in Guinea and demanded they return the country to constitutional rule within 6 months. It decided to freeze the financial assets and impose travel bans on Guinea’s military leaders and their relatives, insisting on the release of President Alpha Conde and a short transition.
On 17 September, CNN reported that Biden had signed a new Executive Order authorising broad sanctions against those involved in perpetrating the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia as reports of atrocities continue to emerge from the Tigray region. The US did not immediately impose sanctions under the new Order, but said that it was “prepared to take aggressive action” unless the parties – including the Ethiopian government, the Eritrean government, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, and the Amhara Regional Government.
OFAC also issued 3 General Licenses permitting certain transactions, and associated FAQ.