International Sanctions December 2020

12 de January de 2021

INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS DECEMBER 2020

EUROPEAN UNION

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICO OF CONGO

• On 11 December 2020, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2021 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/2033 , were published in the Official Journal of the European Union, amending Annex Ia to Regulation (EC) 2005/1183 and Article 9 and the Annex to Decision (CFSP) 2010/788 respectively.

These amendments extend the restrictive measures in respect of the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 12 December 2021.

• On 18 December 2020, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2133 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/2144 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union, amending both Annex I to Regulation (EC) 2005/1183 and Annex I to Decision (CFSP) 2020/788 respectively.

These amendments include additional information on one (1) natural person of Congolese nationality, thus extending the grounds for his listing.

BELARUS

• On 17 December 2020, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2129 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/2130 , were published in the Official Journal of the European Union, amending both the Annex to Regulation (EC) 2006/765 and the Annex to Decision (CFSP) 2012/642 respectively.
These amendments punish twenty-nine (29) natural persons and seven (7) entities, all of them of Belarusian nationality, “for being senior officials responsible for violent repression and intimidation of peaceful demonstrators, members of the opposition and journalists, among others”.

UKRAINE

• On 18 October 2020, the Official Journal of the European Union published Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/2143 amending Article 9 of Decision (CFSP) 2014/512 .

This amendment extends the restrictive measures contained in Decision (CFSP) 2014/512 concerning Ukraine until 31 July 2021.

UNITED STATES

CUBA

• On December 2, 2020, an article was published on Cubatrade.org about the 30th lawsuit based on the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Freedom) Act of 1996 (“Helms-Burton Act” / “H-B Act”).

This lawsuit, as the article comments, was filed on November 9, 2020, by the heirs of the owners of Bank Pujol (“Pujol Family”), which “was confiscated after the Cuban revolution”, against BNP Paribas, S.A., and Société Générale, SA. The lawsuit has been filed in New York courts because, according to the plaintiffs, “both defendants have financial transactions that circulate through New York State, and are therefore subject to U.S. jurisdiction”.

• On December 10, 2020, an article was published on Cubatrade.org regarding the possible suspension of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act (“H-B Act”) by President-elect Biden’s Administration.

The article begins by stating that the Biden Administration may again suspend the H-B Act, which was activated by President Trump on May 2, 2019, as early as February 4, 2021. It goes on to say that if the Biden Administration removes the H-B Act, a legal tool for the 5,913 certified plaintiffs and their claims will be lost. This implies that the Biden Administration should then “engage promptly and directly with the government of the Republic of Cuba to negotiate a settlement for the $1,902,202,284.95 in certified claims”. There seems to be no consensus among legal representatives as to whether the H-B Act will finally be suspended again by that Administration.

He continues by stressing that a suspension would not affect the thirty (30) lawsuits already filed under the H-B Act. For any of the remaining 5,913 certified plaintiffs who have not yet filed a lawsuit, as well as for the unknown number of non-certified plaintiffs who have not yet been filed, it would mean “finding the courthouse doors closed to them”. So far, eleven (11) certified plaintiffs have filed claims and eighteen (18) uncertified plaintiffs have filed claims as well. Four of the claims have already been appealed and have reached the courts of appeal.

It should be mentioned that no judgment has yet been handed down because the claims have not reached the final stage and that recovery of damages from these claims by the claimants is still pending.
• As of December 20, 2020, two separate lawsuits have been filed by Odette Blanco Rosell, one against Crowley Maritime Corporation (“Crowley Maritime”) and the other against Seabord Marine Limited (“Seabord Marine”), in Florida courts, under the H-B Act. Both lawsuits, which are the thirty-first and thirty-second lawsuits under the H-B Act, are based on the fact that the defendants have been acting and carrying out economic activities in the Mariel Special Development Zone (MSDZ).

These claims mention that in 1960 the Government of Cuba expropriated, without any compensation, the properties of the Blanco Rosell brothers, relatives of the plaintiff, including the now named “ZEDM”. This is a special economic zone in Cuba with its own legal structure, considered “Cuba’s flagship project to attract investment”. The applicant points out that the applicants have been trading and carrying out economic activities ‘for several years’ on the above-mentioned confiscated property, namely the ZEDM, and states that they were notified of this fact without ceasing to carry out such activities.

• On 21 December 2020 the OFAC, under the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), added three (3) entities, all Cuban nationals, to the Specially Designated Nationals List (“SDN List”) “as they are three entities controlled by the Cuban army with strategic functions in the Cuban economy”.

• On 28 December 2020, a brief article was published on Cubatrade.org, relating to the thirty-first and thirty-second lawsuits, filed during the month of December, against two entities for acting in the ZEDM.

The article mentions that there are currently sixteen entities operating in the zone, as well as another entity authorised by the US Government that is not yet operational, and asks whether, after the filing of these two lawsuits, all these entities risk becoming defendants in lawsuits based on the H-B Law.

CHINA

• On 7 December 2020 the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), pursuant to Executive Order 13936 of 14 July 2020, added fourteen (14) natural persons of Chinese nationality to the BDS List (reason not specified).

• On 8 December 2020 the OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13810 of 20 September 2020, added four (4) entities and three (3) vessels, all of Chinese nationality, to the BOC List “for transporting and exporting coal from North Korea”.

• On 9 December 2020 the OFAC, by virtue of Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added one (1) Chinese entity to the BDS List for “being owned or controlled by the leader of the 14K triad, which is one of the largest Chinese criminal organisations in the world”.

• On 16 December 2020 the OFAC, by virtue of Executive Order 13846 of 6 August 2018, added two (2) entities, both of Chinese nationality, to the SDN List for “facilitating the export of Iranian petrochemical products by the Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (Triliance), an entity previously sanctioned in January 2020”.

RUSSIA

• On 10 December 2020 OFAC, by virtue of Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added four (4) natural persons and six (6) entities, all of them of Russian nationality, to the SDN List “for their relationship with the sanctioned leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov”, who, in turn, has been sanctioned “for being the leader of an organisation (…) which has committed, or whose members have committed, serious human rights abuses”.

VENEZUELA

• On 18 December 2020 OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13692 of 8 March 2015, added one (1) individual and one (1) entity, both of Venezuelan nationality, to the BDS List “for materially supporting the illegitimate President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro Moros, including the provision of goods and services used by Maduro’s regime to carry out the fraudulent parliamentary elections of 6 December 2020”.

• On 20 December 2020 OFAC, by virtue of Executive Order 13692 of 8 March 2015, added two (2) individuals, both of Venezuelan nationality, to the SDN List “for being the Venezuelan judge and prosecutor who presided over and prosecuted the November 2020 trial and sentencing of six US individuals in Venezuela, who were unjustly imprisoned”.

NICARAGUA

• On 21 December 2020 OFAC, by virtue of Executive Order 13851 of 27 November 2018, added three (3) natural persons, all of them Nicaraguan nationals, to the SDN List “because they are government officials responsible for co-opting judicial or financial information mechanisms to support the systematic identification, intimidation and punishment of the Ortega regime by the political opposition”.

SAUDI ARABIA

• On 28 December 2020 OFAC announced an agreement, totalling USD 653,347, with National Commercial Bank (NCB), a bank based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The NCB has agreed to settle its potential liability for 13 apparent violations of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations and Executive Order 13852 of 17 August 2011.

The apparent violations, carried out between 7 November 2011 and 28 August 2014, relate to transactions involving Saudi Arabia, as well as Sudan, for using the United States (US) financial system. OFAC concludes by stressing that the price of the sanction reflects “that the apparent violations of NCB were not serious”.

ARGENTINA

• On 18 December 2020 OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13692 of 8 March 2015, added one (1) natural person of Argentine nationality to the SDN List “for materially supporting the illegitimate President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro, including the supply of goods and services used by Maduro’s regime to carry out the fraudulent parliamentary elections of 6 December 2020”.

BAHRIEN

• On 15 December 2020 OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13224 of 23 September 2001, added one (1) Bareini entity to the SDN List “for posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.

BELARUS

• On 23 December 2020 OFAC, under the Belarus Sanctions Regulations (BSR), added one (1) natural person and four (4) entities, all of them of Belarusian nationality, to the BDS List “for their role in the fraudulent presidential election of 9 August 2020 in Belarus and the subsequent violent repression of peaceful pro-democracy protests”.

CAMBODIA

• On 9 December 2020 the OFAC, under Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added one (1) Cambodian entity to the SDN List “because it is owned or controlled by the leader of the 14K triad, which is one of the largest Chinese criminal organisations in the world”.

COLOMBIA

• On 1 December 2020 OFAC, under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions Regulations (SDNTK), added four (4) natural persons and four (4) entities, all Colombian nationals, to the SDN List “for materially assisting the international narcotics trafficking activities of the Gulf Clan”.

NORTH KOREA

• On December 8, 2020, the OFAC, by virtue of Executive Order 13687 of January 2, 2015 and Executive Order 13722 of March 15, 2016, has added one (1) North Korean national entity to the SDN List “for being a body, instrument or controlled entity of the Workers’ Party of Korea”, as well as “for having sold and supplied, directly or indirectly, coal from North Korea”.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

• On 16 December 2020, OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13846 of 6 August 2018, added two (2) entities, both of UAE nationality, to the SDN List “for facilitating the export of Iranian petrochemicals by Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (Triliance), an entity previously sanctioned in January 2020”.

HAITI

• On 10 December 2020, OFAC, under Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added three (3) natural persons, all of them Haitian nationals, to the SDN List “for having seriously violated human rights by participating in or planning the 2018 massacre at La Saline”.

INDIA

• On 10 December 2020, OFAC, under Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added one (1) natural person of Indian nationality to the SDN List “because of his relationship with the sanctioned leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov”.

IRAN

• On 3 December 2020 OFAC, under the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations (IFSR), and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations (NPWMD), added one (1) natural person and one (1) entity to the SDN List, both of whom are Iranian nationals “for involvement in Iran’s chemical weapons research”.

• On 8 December 2020 the OFAC, under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (GTSR), and the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations (IFSR), added to the SDN List one (1) natural person and one (1) entity, both of Iranian nationality, “for acting for, or on behalf of, the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps”.

• On 14 December 2020 the OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13553, of 28 September 2010, added two (2) natural persons, both of Iranian nationality, to the SDN List “because, being two senior officials of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security of Iran, they were involved in the abduction of Robert A. “Bob” Levinson on or about 9 March 2007 on the Iranian island of Kish”.

LIBERIA

• On 9 December 2020 the OFAC, under Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added one (1) natural person of Liberian nationality to the SDN List “for being a Liberian senator who offered bribes in 2010 (…) from which he was finally acquitted”.

KYRGYZSTAN

• On 9 December 2020 OFAC, under Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added one (1) natural person of Kyrgyz nationality to the SDN List “for participating in a customs scheme in which at least 700 million Kyrgyz Republic dollars were laundered while holding a position as a government official”.

MACAU

• On 9 December 2020 OFAC, under Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added one (1) natural person of Macanese nationality to the SDN List “for being the leader of the 14K triad, one of the largest Chinese criminal organizations in the world engaged in drug trafficking, illegal gambling, blackmail and human trafficking”.

MEXICO

• On 2 December 2020, OFAC, under the NTSL, added one (1) natural person of Mexican nationality to the NDS List “for participating in various activities on behalf of Rafael Caro Quintero, a major Mexican drug trafficker, and for planning the assassination of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985″.

PAKISTAN

• On 8 December 2020 OFAC, under the SDGT and IFSR, has added to the SDN List one (1) natural person of Pakistani nationality “for acting for, or on behalf of, the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps”.

PALAU

• On 9 December 2020 OFAC, under Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017, added one (1) Palauan entity to the SDN List “because it is owned or controlled by the leader of the 14K triad, which is one of the largest Chinese criminal organisations in the world”.

SYRIA

• On 22 December 2020 OFAC, by virtue of Executive Order 13894 of October 2019, added seven (7) natural persons and ten (10) entities, all of them of Syrian nationality, to the SDN List “as they are officials of the Syrian Government, the Central Bank of Syria and related entities, thus seeking to promote the assumption of responsibility and a political solution to the Syrian conflict”.

TUNISIA

• On 11 December 2020 OFAC, under the SDGT, added to the SDN List one (1) natural person of Tunisian nationality “as the emir of the Jund Al Khilafah (JAK-T) terrorist group”.

TURKEY

• On 14 December 2020 the OFAC, pursuant to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 – Title II (CAATSA), added four (4) natural persons and one (1) entity, all of Turkish nationality, to the SDN List “because, being members of the Presidency of Defence Industries of Turkey, they have purchased Russian defence systems”.

US PERSONS

• On December 30, 2020, OFAC announced an agreement, worth a total of USD 98,830, with BitGo, Inc. (“BitGo”), a Palo Alto, California-based technology company that implements security and scalability platforms for digital assets and provides secure, non-custodial digital portfolio management services.

The apparent violations occurred between March 10, 2015, and December 11, 2019, on behalf of individuals located in the Crimea region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, or Syria who were using BitGo’s secure non-custodial digital wallet management service.

VIETNAM

• On 16 December 2020, OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13846 of 6 August 2018, added one (1) natural person and one (1) entity, both of Vietnamese nationality, to the SDN List “for facilitating the export of Iranian petrochemicals by Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (Triliance), an entity previously sanctioned in January 2020”.

YEMEN

• On 10 December 2020, OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13818 of 20 December 2017 and the Yemen Sanctions Regulations, has added five (5) natural persons, all Yemeni nationals, to the SDN List “for committing serious human rights abuses in Yemen by participating in the arbitrary detention and torture of its citizens”.

UNITED KINGDOM

NORTH KOREA

• On 10 December 2020, the British government, under The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations (“GHRSR”) of 6 July 2020, added two (2) entities, both of North Korean nationality, to the UK Sanctions List (“UKSL List”) “as an entity responsible for the management of political prisons in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, engaging in murder, torture and forced labour of persons detained in such camps”.

GAMBIA

• On 10 December 2020, the British Government, under the GHRSR, has added three (3) natural persons, all of whom are Gambian nationals, to the UKSL List “for, being in positions of power, ordering, or being involved in murder, torture and other human rights abuses”.

PAKISTAN

• On 10 December 2020, the British Government, under the GHRSR, added one (1) natural person of Pakistani nationality to the UKSL List “for, while holding the post of senior police superintendent, directly participating in over 190 police encounters resulting in the death of over 400 people”.

RUSSIA

• On 10 December 2020, the British government, under the GHRSR, added three (3) natural persons and one (1) entity, all of them Russian nationals, to the UKSL List “because, while holding government posts in the Chechen Republic, they have been responsible for the detention, killing and torture of Chechens belonging to the LGTB community since 2017”.

VENEZUELA

• On 10 December 2020, the British government, under the GHRSR, added three (3) natural persons, all Venezuelan nationals, to the UKSL List “for, while holding senior positions in the Venezuelan armed forces, committing serious violations of human rights”.

 

Madrid, 31 December 2020
Department of International Trade and Sanctions
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