Newsletters and Reports

The UK publishes a quarterly report about its counter-terrorism sanctions program – and the one for Q4 of 2018 (calendar) is out. Here are the highlights:

  • At the end of the quarter, 9,000 GBP was frozen under TAFA, 18,000 under EU Reg 2580/2001, and 70,000 under the ISIL/Al-Qaida regime (EU Reg 881/2002). These represent 6 TAFA accounts or payments, 3 for EC 2580/2001 and 36 for ISIL-AQ. One item was frozen during the quarter under ISIL-AQ.
  • There were 3 new ISIL-AQ designations during the quarter and one new one under EU Reg 2016/1686 .
  • There were 5 TAFA renewals during the quarter
  • Under the ISIL-AQ regime, 8 licenses were issued during the quarter. And there are still 4 active General Licenses.

Link:

TAFA October-December 2018 Report

Annex 1

Written Ministerial Statement

____________________________________________________________________

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 July to 30 September 2018

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen): Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the period 1 July to 30 September 2018.

This report also covers the UK’s implementation of the UN’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ), and the operation of the EU’s asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (EC) 2580/2001 concerning external terrorist threats to the EU (also referred to as the CP 931 regime).

Under the UN’s ISIL-AQ asset freezing regime, the UN has responsibility for designations and the Treasury, through the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011.

Under EU Regulation 2580/2001, the EU has responsibility for designations and OFSI has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under Part 1 of TAFA 2010.

A new EU asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings.

The following tables set out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during the quarter.

The recently passed Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act will help ensure that UK counterterrorist sanctions powers remain a useful tool for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to consider utilising, while also meeting the UK’s international obligations.

Under the Act, a designation could be made where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person or group is or has been involved in a defined terrorist activity and that designation is appropriate. This approach is in line with the UK’s current approach under UN and EU sanctions and would be balanced by procedural protections such as the ability of designated persons to challenge the Government in court.

Sorry, but the tables on page 2 of the report don’t cut and paste real well…

Frozen funds: the ISIL-AQ regime had thre most frozen accounts (35) and funds (70,000 GBP), with the TAFA regime being a distant second (6 accounts for 9,000 GBP).

New designations: 4 for ISIL-AQ, 1 under EU Regulation 2016/1686

And there were 5 TAFA renewals in the quarter.

Additionally:

Licensing

One interim basic needs licence was issued under the CT regimes during this quarter. Four General licences remained current during this quarter.3

Link:

Quarterly Report for July-October 2018

The UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) issues a quarterly report on the functioning of the Terrorist Asset Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA). Here is the text of the report:

Annex 1 (statistical tables omitted)

 Written Ministerial Statement

    ____________________________________________________________________

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen): Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the period 1 April 2018 to 30 June 2018.

This report also covers the UK’s implementation of the UN’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ), and the operation of the EU’s asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (EC) 2580/2001 concerning external terrorist threats to the EU (also referred to as the CP 931 regime).

Under the UN’s ISIL-AQ asset freezing regime, the UN has responsibility for designations and the Treasury, through the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011.

Under EU Regulation 2580/2001, the EU has responsibility for designations and OFSI has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under Part 1 of TAFA 2010.

A new EU asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings.

The following tables set out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during the quarter.

The recently passed Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA) will help ensure that UK counterterrorist sanctions powers remain a useful tool for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to consider utilising, while also meeting the UK’s international obligations.

Under SAMLA, a designation could be made where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person or group is or has been involved in a defined terrorist activity and that designation is appropriate. This approach is in line with the UK’s current approach under UN and EU sanctions and would be balanced by procedural protections such as the ability of designated persons to challenge the Government in court.

Licensing

No licences were issued under any of the CT regimes during this quarter. Four General licences remained current during this quarter.3

Listings

All persons subject to financial sanctions

Consolidated list of all the individuals, organisations and businesses subject to financial sanctions in the UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-sanctions-consolidated-list-of- targets/consolidated-list-of-targets

UN and EU sanctions on the Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) organisations

Current designations under the UN’s ISIL-AQ regime and EU Regulation 2016/1686:4

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-al-qaida

Current designations under the UK and EU’s terrorist asset-freezing regime

Current designations under TAFA 2010 and EU Regulation (EC) 2580/2001:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-terrorism-and- terrorist-financing

The following descriptors are included in the ‘Other Information’ field of the consolidated list:

• ‘UK listing only’ – listed under TAFA 2010 only

• ‘Both UK and EU listing’ – listed under TAFA 2010 and under the EU’s asset freezing regime 2580/2001

• ‘EU listing only’ – listed under EU’s asset freezing regime. The prohibitions are found in Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 with penalties given by TAFA 2010  

Statistics:

Frozen funds:

  • under TAFA: 6 frozen accounts, 9000 GBP
  • under EU Reg 2580/2001: 1 account for less than 100 GBP
  • Under ISIL-AQ Regime (EU Reg 881/2002): 35 accounts for 70,000 GBP

No new TAFA designations, but 2 new ISIL-AQ designations

No TAFA delistings, but 1 Final Designation renewal

Link:

Quarterly Report

Last Friday, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementaton (OFSI), part of HM Treasury, issued its annual review of its operations from April 2017 to March of this year. Interesting stats:

  • 2077 total targets
  • 122 targets were added over the past year, mostly from the North Korea (96) and ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida counter terrorism (17) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (4) programs. 
  • 18 of the targets were added under the “avoidance of delay” program instituted by the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which lets OFSI add UN sanctions designations without waiting for the EU to pass a corresponding regulation.
  • OFSI’s search facility is slated to get fuzzy search capabilities in 2018-2019
  • OFSI issued a new order under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 which renewed the asset freezes on the 2 individuals accused of murdering Alexander Litvinenko.
  • As of September 2017, 12.8 Billion GBP in assets were frozen, with the overwhelming majority (over 12 Billion GBP) being associated with the Libya program)
  • OFSI received 122 reports of sanctions breaches, with a reported value of 1.35 Billion GBP
  • “It is likely that OFSI will impose monetary penalties in 2018-2019” But the majority of current cases will not result in a monetary penalty.
  • OFSI issued 51 licenses in 2017-2018, of which 27 were for legal fees, 10 were for basic needs, 5 were for routine holding and maintenance costs, and 6 were for multiple reasons.

A good read!

Link:

OFSI Annual Review

Each quarter, a report of the operation of the UK’s counter terrorism asset freezing program under the Terrorist Asset Freezing Act 2010 (TAFA 2010) is published. However, the only part that is publicly issued is the Ministerial statement and some statistics. The report for January through March of 2018 was published on July 11th:

Annex 1

 Written Ministerial Statement

    ____________________________________________________________________

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen): Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the period 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018.

This report also covers the UK’s implementation of the UN’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ), and the operation of the EU’s asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (EC) 2580/2001 concerning external terrorist threats to the EU. (also referred to as the CP 931 regime).

Under the ISIL-AQ asset freezing regime, the UN has responsibility for designations and the Treasury, through the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011.

Under EU Regulation 2580/2001, the EU has responsibility for designations and OFSI has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under Part 1 of TAFA 2010.

A new EU asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings. The first designation under the regime was made during this quarter, and is recorded in the fifth column of the table below.

The following tables set out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during the quarter.

The recently passed Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act will help ensure that UK counterterrorist sanctions powers remain a useful tool for law enforcement and

intelligence agencies to consider utilising, while also meeting the UK’s international

obligations.

Under the Act, a designation could be made where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person or group is or has been involved in a defined terrorist activity and that designation is appropriate. This approach is in line with the UK’s current approach under UN and EU sanctions and would be balanced by procedural protections such as the ability of designated persons to challenge the Government in court.

Unfortunately, the tables on pages 2 and 3 don’t cut and paste cleanly, so… the link is below.

Link:

Annex 1 of Quarterly Report to Parliament

Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) produces reports for Parliament that document the operation of the sanctions under the authority of the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc Act 2010 (TAFA). The latest reports are for July-September 2017 and October-December 2017.

The reports document basic statistical information – how many new designations, how many delistings, license issuance, and the amount of frozen funds. 

Link:

Report page for quarterly HMT TAFA Operation reports 

On December 1st, OFAC released the 2016 Terrorist Assets Report. Some highlights:

Approximately $149 million in assets relating to the three designated state sponsors of terrorism in 2016 have been identified by OFAC as blocked pursuant to economic sanctions imposed by the United States.2

There was a significant reduction in blocked assets between calendar year 2015 and calendar year 2016, primarily because victims of terrorism obtained nearly $2 billion of the blocked assets of terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terrorism during that period as a result of judgments in U.S. courts.

And nice tables of the breakdown, which details that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Hizballah and Al-Qaida, in that order, make up the overwhelming majority of all the blocked assets under the FTO, SDGT, and SDT designations. The IRGC, in fact, at over $14 million, constituted more than twice as much in value than Hizballah (at over $6 million) and over 40% of the total ($34 million) denoted in the table.

Similarly, Iran’s almost $88 million represents almost 60% of the $149 million blocked from the state sponsors of terrorism, with Syria’s $32 million and Sudan’s just under $29 million making up the rest.

Lots of interesting background on the various Executive Orders and the like, too.

Links:

OFAC Notice

2016 Terrorist Assets Report