‘Red alert’: Agencies warn ‘facilitators’ about evading sanctions | New


According to a “red alert” issued this week, lawyers and other potential “facilitators” can face penalties if they help designated individuals hide their assets from law enforcement.

Sanctioned individuals “use a range of techniques to evade sanctions,” the National Economic Crime Center (NECC) and Office of Financial Sanctions Enforcement (OSFI) have warned, usually before sanctions are imposed. – but “this also happens shortly after”. ‘.

According to alert.

The NECC and OSFI added that “key professions” to facilitate the avoidance of sanctions include attorneys and barristers, accountants, investment advisers and wealth managers, as well as real estate agents, auction houses in auctions and entrepreneurs.

“When it comes to international bribery and corruption, London-based facilitators are almost certain to hold leadership positions (director, owner, CEO, senior partner) within their company or business “, reads the alert.

It also presents key indicators that individuals may be trying to avoid sanctions, including “changes in the beneficial ownership of their business structures” shortly before or after sanctions take effect and “use of ‘trust agreements or complex corporate structures involving offshore companies’.

“The UK government is targeting corrupt elites and enablers involved in helping DPs to evade sanctions,” the alert warns. “Enablers may themselves become the target of sanctions designations when they can be shown to be acting on behalf of or at the direction of a DP, such as in asset obfuscation.”

Law firms should not take arm’s length transactions “at face value” and should “seek advice from the OFSI if they are in any doubt”, the NECC and OSFI recommend. Companies must also carry out their own legal assessment even though the companies may have provided their own and carry out “enhanced due diligence” if they receive documents that “purport to show a change in ownership by a company linked to a PD”.

Giles Thompson, Director of OSFI said the alert ‘describes the significant exposure that many sections of the industry have to sanctions evasion and, given the nature of the risks identified, this is something we will all need to be increasingly vigilant about “.

The warning comes after the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee last month called the government to “strengthen the legislation against enablers” to stem the tide of “dirty money” flowing into the UK.


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