December 12, 2022

US and UK impose numerous new sanctions on International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day

On December 9, 2022, in recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day, the US and UK each imposed new sanctions upon numerous individuals and entities with connections to corruption or human rights abuse around the world.  The US Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the imposition of sanctions upon more than forty individuals and entities in nine countries under various authorities, including Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.  Among those sanctioned under EO 13818 are two officials in El Salvador who engaged in corruption and misappropriated public funds for their personal benefit, and three Guatemalan officials accused of routinely using their political influence to obtain bribes and financial kickbacks in exchange for congressional votes and other unlawful favors.  OFAC also designated North Korea’s Ministry of State Security Border Guard General Bureau (BGGB), which is responsible for securing the country’s borders with China and Russia, and which, according to OFAC, has engaged in human rights violations and abuse by utilizing forced labor and torture against North Koreans who have attempted to flee the country, and by planting and mines and issuing shoot-on-sight orders to thwart attempts to cross the border.  The BGGB was designated by OFAC pursuant to EO 13687 for being a controlled entity of the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea.

On the same day, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announced a sanctions package targeting thirty individuals and entities for their oppression of fundamental freedoms around the world.  The package addresses a wide range of actors, including corrupt government officials, human rights violators and abusers, and perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence.  The sanctions target persons in eleven countries across 7 sanctions regimes, including five individuals who were sanctioned under the Global Anti-Corruption regime, such as Slobodan Tesic a Serbia-based arms dealer who allegedly bribed a state prosecutor in another country, and Ilan Shor, the Chairman of Moldova’s ┼×or Party, who is accused of using bribes to secure his position as the chair of Banca de Economii SA.  The UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation also sanctioned eight individuals under the UK Global Human Rights regime; those sanctioned include a Muslim cleric from Pakistan who forced girls and women from minority religious groups into  marriages and religious conversions, and an Inspector General of Police in Uganda who engaged in human rights violations by directing the infliction of cruel and inhumane punishments. 

Department of Treasury Press Release | UK Government Press Release