On 10 December, OFAC issued General License 16 providing an exception to the 2001 Executive Order imposing sanctions, in an effort to help alleviate the problems of the population of Afghanistan. Under the License, non-commercial, personal remittances do not include charitable donations of funds to or for the benefit of an entity or funds transfers for use in supporting or operating a business, including a family-owned business. OFAC also issued an amended FAQ 931 and new FAQ 939.
On 10 December, OFAC announced that it had designated 15 individuals and 10 entities for their connection to human rights abuse and repression in several countries around the globe, pursuant to multiple sanctions authorities. Those listed were said to be involved in activities in Xinjiang, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar and DPRK activities abroad.
On 10 December, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that the UK had added the DIRECTORATE FOR DEFENCE INDUSTRIES; DIRECTORATE FOR DEFENCE PROCUREMENT; MYANMAR WAR VETERANS ORGANISATION; and QUARTER MASTER GENERAL OFFICE to its Consolidated List of sanctions targets.
The Wildlife Justice Commission has published this report which outlines China’s largest-ever ivory smuggling case and identifies the enabling factors that facilitated the network’s criminal operations. It demonstrates the complexity of transnational organised wildlife trafficking, while breaking down the criminal scenario into the enabling components is useful to understand why the network was so successful and able to operate with impunity for so long.
The NGO, TRAFFIC has published a study that found thousands of birds for sale online in Singapore and highlights the critical need for a compulsory wildlife-pet registration system to make buyers more accountable and deter unlicensed sellers operating online. It found 3,354 live animals for sale in 44 Singapore-based Facebook groups from December 2018 to April 2019 and that online sellers were unlicensed and therefore acting illegally. Almost 99% of the wildlife found in the study were birds.
On 9 December, iGB reported that the Gambling Commission has published its Compliance and Enforcement report for 2020/21, highlighting shortcomings in AML and social responsibility procedures by operators over the past year – caused by a prioritisation of profit over compliance. The report cited a lack of due diligence as a major contributing factor to any failures regarding AML/CFT in particular.