Sanctions Top-5 for the week ending 3 April 2020

  1. The UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) announced two monetary penalties totaling GBP 20.47 million against Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) for violations of the UK’s Ukraine-related sectoral sanctions. According to the penalty notice, between 2015 and 2018, SCB issued numerous loans to Turkey-based Denizbank, a majority-owned subsidiary of Russia’s Sberbank, some of which violated the regulations.
  2. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced indictments against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, numerous current and former Venezuelan government officials, and two leaders of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) on narco-terrorism, drug trafficking, and weapons charges. Meanwhile, the US State Department is offering up to USD 15 million for information leading to the apprehension of Maduro and four other individuals named in the indictments under the Narcotics Rewards Program.
  3. A few days after the indictments, the US State Department released a thirteen-point Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela calling for a transitional government to administer presidential elections in the country. According to a US State Department news release, US “sanctions will remain in effect, and increase, until the Maduro regime accepts a genuine political transition.”
  4. Rosneft announced that it has terminated its operations in Venezuela and sold related assets to an entity owned by the Russian government. Following the announcement, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams and an unnamed official said the US could lift sanctions against two Rosneft subsidiaries sanctioned under Executive Order 13850 for operating in the Venezuelan oil sector.
  5. The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named 20 entities and individuals in Iran and Iraq as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) pursuant to Executive Order 13224 for acting on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF). The designations coincided with the US State Department’s announcement of the renewal of a secondary sanctions waiver for the import of electricity from Iran to Iraq.

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