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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC sanctions Central Bank of Syria and Syrian officials

Financial Crimes OFAC Sanctions Syria Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Designations

Financial Crimes

On December 22, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against two individuals, nine business entities, and the Central Bank of Syria, pursuant to Syria sanctions authorities. Treasury notes that the sanctions are intended to “discourage future investment in government-controlled areas of Syria, force the regime to end its atrocities against the Syrian people, and compel its commitment to the United Nations-facilitated process in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.” Additionally, concurrent with OFAC’s designations, the State Department also designated six Syrian persons pursuant to Section 2 of Executive Order 13894. As a result, all property and interests in property belonging to the designated individuals and entities subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. OFAC noted that its regulations “generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons,” and warned that non-U.S. persons that engage in certain transactions with the designated persons may expose themselves to designation.

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