OFSI & NCA issues 'red alert' to private sector on sanctions evasion | Fieldfisher
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OFSI & NCA issues 'red alert' to private sector on sanctions evasion

John Fox


United Kingdom

In July, the UK's Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) and National Crime Agency (NCA) issued a Red Alert, warning that sanctioned individuals are 'using a range of techniques in order to evade sanctions'.

The alert provides a list of common indicators that businesses should be aware of. The document also explains what businesses should do if their due diligence processes highlight suspicious activity.

Indicators are grouped under three headings: indicators of frozen asset transfers; indicators of enablers, and indicators of suspicious payments.

The alert recommends that businesses should:

  • not take transactions at face value
  • carefully assess complex corporate structures
  • contact the OFSI for guidance.

Fieldfisher comment:

Businesses are facing challenging times. We reported the introduction of new provisions under the UK's Economic Crime Act, creating a strict liability offence for inadvertent breaches of sanctions regulations. Previously, businesses only faced liability when they had knowledge, or reasonable cause to suspect that a transaction might give rise to a breach of sanctions.

Compliance officers should review the alert and consider any changes to money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessments, as well as associated policies, procedures and controls.

If you have any questions about the alert or how to respond to the new sanctions rules, please contact our Sanctions team for further advice and support for your business.

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