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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC announces international terrorism sanctions

Financial Crimes Department of Treasury OFAC Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Designations OFAC Sanctions SDN List

Financial Crimes

On December 22, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 13224 against three members of a Brazil-based network of an international terrorist group and two connected entities for providing support to the terrorist group. According to OFAC, the terrorist group generates most of its revenue outside of the U.S., and the U.S. government has used financial tools to limit its funding streams globally, such as designating almost 300 individuals and entities affiliated with the terrorist group and other terrorist organizations throughout Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Gulf, Africa, and other regions. As a result, all property and interests in property belonging to the designated individual subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and any “entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and report to OFAC.” U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the designated individual unless authorized by a general or specific OFAC license or otherwise exempt. OFAC warned that the agency “can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United State[s] of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.” OFAC further noted that that engaging in certain transactions with the designated individual “entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.”

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