Sanctions Top-5 Index

Nicholas Turner
26 min readFeb 18, 2019

Did you miss one? Here are the links to all of the Sanctions Top-5 weekly briefings from 2017 to 2022.

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Week ending 25 February 2022: A roundup of unprecedented international sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Week ending 11 February 2022: UK beefs up Russia sanctions regulations; Ukraine sanctions pro-Russia TV station; White House freezes Afghan central bank funds; What the heck is the Unverified List?

Week ending 4 February 2022: The EU and UK talk big on Russia sanctions; US government warns about Myanmar business risks; US Treasury sanctions Indonesian NGO for Syria activities; US Treasury assures NGOs on Afghanistan transactions.

Week ending 21 January 2022: Russian operatives in Ukraine sanctioned (more to follow?); Total and Chevron announce Myanmar pullout; NGOs caution on new Mali sanctions; US Treasury targets Lebanese travel company for Hizballah financing.

Week ending 14 January 2022: “Rogue” employees lead to $5 million OFAC settlement; ECOWAS launches Mali embargo after election delay; North Koreans in Russia, China sanctioned after missile tests; US and EU team up for Nicaragua sanctions.


Week ending 31 December 2021: Afghanistan gets US and UN sanctions relief; State Department tags Chinese officials for Hong Kong secondary sanctions; US bank settles with OFAC over North Korea violations; Farewell and good riddance to 2021.

Week ending 17 December 2021: More restrictions on “Chinese military companies”; White House expands counter-narcotics sanctions; Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act passes; EU sanctions Russia’s Wagner Group; Russia counters UK sanctions with visa bans.

Week ending 10 December 2021: US Treasury sanctions dozens of targets over human rights abuses, corruption; SenseTime IPO postponed after “military company” designation; Individual settles over Iran sanctions violations; OFAC licenses Afghanistan remittances.

Week ending 3 December 2021: Belarus hit with new coordinated sanctions; Colombia’s FARC loses terrorist label; Australia passes Magnitsky-style sanctions law; US Senate finally confirms a sanctions post; Get ready for more Russia sanctions (maybe).

Week ending 26 November 2021: Australia readies new sanctions for human rights, cyber threats; US Treasury OKs more NGO activities in Syria; More Nord Stream 2 sanctions; Get ready for the NDAA 2022.

Week ending 19 November 2021: EU readies more Belarus sanctions; US Treasury sanctions Nicaragua officials after elections; Biden terminates Burundi sanctions; Iranians sanctioned for US election interference.

Week ending 12 November 2021: Biden admin sanctions Eritrea troops and politicians over Ethiopia crisis; US Treasury warns about Cambodia business risks, sanctions officials for corruption; Cryptocurrency exchange sanctioned for ransomware; UAE bank pays to settle with New York State and the Fed over OFAC violations.

Week ending 29 October 2021: Too many sanctions? US Treasury sanctions review proposes policy changes; Iran UAV program sanctioned; Lebanese elite sanctioned for corruption; Kosovo joins US and Qatar for Hezbollah sanctions push.

Week ending 15 October 2021: US Treasury publishes virtual currency guidance; US and Mexico team up to target cartel members; US lifts sanctions on Iranian companies accused of missile ties; EU and Ukraine sanctions Crimea politicians and law enforcers; Vietnamese telco pays for breaching US export controls.

Week ending 1 October 2021: Hong Kong Financial Secretary tries to calm nerves over Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law; US national pleads guilty to speaking at North Korea cryptocurrency conference; US Treasury settles over oil company violations in Russia and Sudan; Norway charges professor with breaching Iran sanctions.

Week ending 24 September 2021: US Treasury OKs humanitarian transactions in Afghanistan; Biden administration takes on ransomware; Sinaloa Cartel operatives sanctioned; My colleagues help save a CFO from extradition.

Week ending 17 September 2021: White House preps new Ethiopia-related sanctions; Colombia’s “boss lady” sanctioned with family for drug trafficking; US Treasury sanctions financing networks linked to Iran and Al-Qa’ida; Watch out for new US ransomware sanctions.

Week ending 10 September 2021: US Treasury authorizes some Afghanistan humanitarian transactions; NGO coalition presses Biden admin to speed up sanctions review; UK sanctions Myanmar’s Htoo Group (again); OFAC settles with Texas tech company over Iran sales.

Week ending 27 August 2021: G7 set to consider Afghanistan sanctions; US Treasury settles with Chinese bank over Sudan violations; US Treasury settles with Romanian bank over Iran and Syria violations; OFAC sanctions money launderers in Paraguay for spreading corruption.

Week ending 20 August 2021: China postpones Hong Kong anti-foreign sanction law; Biden admin piles on more Russia sanctions; Commerce Department settles with California company over export violations; More Cuba sanctions after protests.

Week ending 13 August 2021: More US, UK, and Canada sanctions on Belarus; Switzerland also adds Belarus sanctions; US Treasury sanctions more Cuban officials after protests; Russia and China align on counter-sanctions.

Week ending 6 August 2021: Hong Kong gets closer to having an anti-foreign sanction law; Australia readies Magnitsky-style sanctions; Nicaraguan officials and families hit with US and EU bans; US government sanctions militants in Africa.

Week ending 30 July 2021: Will Hong Kong get an anti-foreign sanctions law? US Treasury sanctions Cuban and Syrian forces for human rights abuses; EU preps Lebanon sanctions; US government seizes a tanker used in North Korean trade.

Week ending 23 July 2021: China sanctions US officials in response to Hong Kong sanctions; UK sanctions foreign officials and others for corruption; Cuban security forces hit with US sanctions after local uprising; OFAC settles with manufacturer for Iran violations; OFAC highlights weak compliance program in settlement with online payments firm.

Week ending 16 July 2021: US government issues Hong Kong business advisory; US Treasury jumps the gun on secondary sanctions for PRC and Hong Kong officials; Biden administration OKs Venezuela gas exports; More Xinjiang-related export controls.

Week ending 2 July 2021: US Treasury piles on the Myanmar sanctions; Switzerland sanctions Myanmar ministers; OFAC lifts sanctions on Iranian individuals; Good riddance to Trump’s International Criminal Court sanctions.

Week ending 25 June 2021: US government blocks Chinese solar panel supplier over forced labor concerns; Western powers team up for new Belarus sanctions; EU and UK sanction Myanmar exporters; US Treasury OKs COVID-19 relief to sanctioned countries.

Week ending 11 June 2021: China unveils its Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law (plus my commentary); Biden walks back Trump restrictions on WeChat, TikTok; US Treasury lifts some Iran sanctions as JCPOA negotiations go on; Nicaraguan officials sanctioned for working for the president; Who else forgot about the Balkan sanctions?

Week ending 4 June 2021: Goodbye Communist Chinese Military Companies, hello Military-Industrial Complex Companies!; Biden amends Trump-era securities ban; US Treasury softens the blow with FAQs; Bulgarian bigwigs banned for bribery.

Week ending 28 May 2021: US Treasury confirms Xiaomi is no longer sanctioned; After Xiaomi and Luokung, GOWIN takes Defense Department to court; US and EU plan big Belarus sanctions?; China and US in tit-for-tat sanctions over religious freedom report; US CBP hits Chinese fishing company with import ban over forced labor.

Week ending 21 May 2021: US Treasury goes easy on Hong Kong sanctions; OFAC kicks can again on Chinese military company subsidiaries; Myanmar’s State Administrative Council sanctioned; EU pauses trade deal after PRC sanctions; US State Department waives sanctions on Nord Stream 2.

Week ending 14 May 2021: Xiaomi bests Defense Department in fight over military company label; Luokung Technology might be next; Blocking Statute puts EU companies in a bind; Individuals arrested over US imports of Iranian currency.

Week ending 30 April 2021: UK makes a splash with new anti-corruption sanctions; Treasury fines money transmitter for prison payments; Treasury and DOJ settle with German company for Iran software sales; Why hasn’t OFAC updated its list of Chinese military companies?

Week ending 23 April 2021: EU ramps up Myanmar sanctions; OFAC fines Oklahoma company for using Iranian services; Narco’s ex-wife and family let off the hook; US Treasury tightens sanctions on Belarus firms; Check out the upcoming ACI Asia-Pacific Conference.

Week ending 16 April 2021: Biden admin hits Russia with big new sanctions (kind of); US Treasury gives the green light on Sudan trade; EU sanctions head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps; US Commerce subpoenas Chinese company in information technology probe.

Week ending 9 April 2021: Biden lifts International Criminal Court sanctions (finally); US Treasury targets Myanmar state-owned gem company; Commerce Department hits Chinese supercomputing firms with export controls; Cosmetics CEO nabbed for Iran exports.

Week ending 26 March 2021: China sanctions US, EU, UK, Canadian officials; US teams up with EU, UK, Canada for Xinjiang sanctions; US and UK sanction Myanmar military companies; Canada piles on with Russia sanctions; Another OFAC settlement.

Week ending 19 March 2021: State Department goes to the mat with Hong Kong sanctions report; OFAC settles with Ohio company over Iran shipments; Malaysia extradites North Korean on US charges; Man gets hefty prison sentence for Venezuela sanctions breaches.

Week ending 12 March 2021: Xiaomi wins reprieve from securities ban; OFAC sanctions kids of Myanmar coup general; Biden reimposes sanctions on billionaire Dan Gertler; ISIS affiliates designated as terrorist organizations; State Department outlaws visas for Iran and Ukraine officials.

Week ending 5 March 2021: Biden unveils big Russia sanctions package; EU adopts its own Russia sanctions; Myanmar military companies in the crosshairs; OFAC targets Yemen militants, Mexico narcotics trafficker.

Week ending 26 February 2021: US hits Saudi nationals with sanctions and visa bans in Khashoggi case; More Myanmar sanctions; EU preps Russia sanctions after Navalny jailing; EU sanctions more Venezuela officials; More details on that Gertler special OFAC license.

Week ending 19 February 2021: OFAC settles with another digital assets company; Myanmar generals hit with Canadian and UK sanctions; UK sanctions dozens in Belarus as US imposes visa bans; US State Department plays nice at the United Nations; More North Korean hacking.

Week ending 12 February 2021: Myanmar sanctions and export controls; Biden unwinds Trump terrorist designation on Ansar Allah; WeChat and TikTok restrictions on ice; EU-Russia sanctions tensions warm up.

Week ending 29 January 2021: New Myanmar sanctions coming?; Xiaomi sues to block securities ban; OFAC starts off Biden era with general licenses; OFAC licenses transactions for billionaire accused of corruption; Ukraine sanctions Chinese firm to block corporate takeover.

Week ending 22 January 2021: China hits outgoing Trump officials, entities with travel and business sanctions; EU Parliament calls for Hong Kong sanctions; US sanctions Venezuelan petroleum network; Russian company sanctioned for pipeline work; Here comes the Biden administration.

Week ending 15 January 2021: White House revises ban on US investments in Chinese military companies; Pentagon adds Xiaomi and eight others to the list; More Hong Kong officials sanctioned; OFAC settles with Indonesian company for North Korea payments.

Week ending 8 January 2021: China rule hits back at foreign sanctions; Confusion over US investment ban on Chinese companies; Trump targets eight more Chinese apps; French bank settles for breaking Syria embargo; Judge halts enforcement of International Criminal Court sanctions.

Week ending 1 January 2021: OFAC FAQs kinda sorta clarify ban on US investments in “Chinese military companies”; Saudi Arabian bank settles for Syria and Sudan payments; Cryptofirm hit with OFAC penalty for giving access to sanctioned countries; Compliance lessons from OFAC’s latest settlements.


Week ending 25 December 2020: Another List! This time of military companies; US Treasury sanctions Syrian first lady’s family; Panama-based coffee exporter sanctioned for Cuba ties; More Belarus and Nicaragua sanctions.

Week ending 18 December 2020: 60 Chinese companies hit with Entity List restrictions; US sanctions Turkey for Russia missile purchase; OFAC targets Venezuelan voting machine company; More EU sanctions for Belarus.

Week ending 11 December 2020: No secondary sanctions on Hong Kong financial institutions (for now); PRC Standing Committee members sanctioned; the EU unveils its long-awaited human rights sanctions regime; US sanctions dozens around the globe for human rights and corruption.

Week ending 4 December 2020: Four companies added to list of so-called “Chinese military companies”; China’s CEIEC sanctioned for Venezuela Internet censorship; US Customs orders hold on all XPCC-origin cotton products; US sanctions 14 People’s Congress members for Hong Kong National Security Law.

Week ending 20 November 2020: Fifty Iranian entities added to US sanctions list; What will Biden do with the JCPOA?; EU plans more Belarus sanctions; Russian company sanctioned for importing North Korean workers.

Week ending 13 November 2020: Trump takes on Chinese military companies; More Hong Kong-related sanctions; Russia threatens counter-sanctions on Germany, France; White House plans “flood” of Iran sanctions before Biden takes over.

Week ending 6 November 2020: What does the US election mean for sanctions?; EU finally sanctions Belarusian president; US sanctions Lebanese political figure; State Department lifts terrorist label from Uyghur separatist group; UK Finance reviews post-Brexit sanctions.

Week ending 30 October 2020: US sanctions Chinese, Hong Kong entities for Iran petrochemical transactions; China announces sanctions for Taiwan arms sales; Trump tightens rules on Cuban remittances; Watch out for sanctioned art, OFAC warns.

Week ending 23 October 2020: Sudan strikes deal to lift terrorism label; China and Hong Kong companies hit with secondary sanctions for Iran shipping; US hits Iran for election interference; EU hits Russia for hacking; Another US company fined for Turkey-Iran trade.

Week ending 16 October 2020: State Department kicks off Hong Kong secondary sanctions timeline; EU agrees to sanction Belarus president; EU sanctions Russians for Navalny poisoning; US targets Iranian financial sector (again).

Week ending 2 October 2020: US, EU, UK, Canada team up on Belarus sanctions; OFAC warns ransomware victims not to breach sanctions; Travel insurer settles Cuba violations; Open Society Justice Initiative sues over US sanctions on International Criminal Court.

Week ending 25 September 2020: Cuba embargo tightened ahead of US election; OFAC extends license for dealings with XPCC subsidiaries; New Hong Kong sanctions FAQ; Wireless company settles for Iran violations caused by Finnish subsidiary; EU sanctions Libyans for human rights abuses, UN arms breaches.

Week ending 18 September 2020: US announces WeChat and TikTok restrictions; China unveils its “Unreliable Entities List”; State Department threatens new Iran secondary sanctions after UN snub; OFAC sanctions Chinese company for Cambodia project; Telecom company settles for Sudan violations.

Week ending 11 September 2020: Deutsche Bank unit fined for Russia-related sanctions mishap; Ukraine lawmaker sanctioned for US election interference; US sanctions Lebanese politicians for Hizbillah ties; North Koreans and Malaysian charged with operating front companies.

Week ending 4 September 2020: US makes good on threat to sanction International Criminal Court; Chinese, Hong Kong firms hit with Iran secondary sanctions; Venezuela politicians sanctioned for being politicians; US issues North Korea missile advisory; GIR publishes its Guide to Sanctions(!).

Week ending 28 August 2020: Defense Department publicizes names of Chinese military companies; US targets Chinese firms for South China Sea construction; UN pushes back on US push for Iran snapback; EU moves ahead with Belarus election sanctions; OFAC targets Hong Kong company for synthetic opioids.

Week ending 21 August 2020: EU readies Belarus sanctions, is US next?; US pushes Security Council to nix Iran deal; US sanctions judges and lawyer in Ugandan adoption scheme; DOJ charges UAE based company for Mahan Air services; more Syria sanctions.

Week ending 14 August 2020: US seizes Iranian gas (on the open seas!); Trump targets ByteDance (again); Security Council rejects US bid for Iran sanctions extension; OFAC settles with individual over SDN tryst.

Week ending 7 August 2020: US sanctions Hong Kong officials; Hong Kong regulators react; White House moves against TikTok and WeChat; UN sanctions African militia leader; OFAC targets Zimbabwe tycoon for corrupt dealings.

Week ending 31 July 2020: US sanctions Chinese entity for Xinjiang business; European Union sanctions cyber attackers; OFAC settles with cookware company for Iran violations; More Syria sanctions; Hong Kong scholars analyze National Security Law Article 29.

Week ending 24 July 2020: US targets Chinese textile companies for Xinjiang forced labor; Venezuelan brothers sanctioned for deals with Maduro’s son; Cyprus extradites Hezbollah money launderer; UN Member States file complaint over North Korea petroleum imports.

Week ending 17 July 2020: Trump unveils Hong Kong sanctions order; OFAC punishes UAE company for North Korea sales; Nord Stream investors could face US secondary sanctions; OFAC sanctions Chinese synthetic opioid operation.

Week ending 10 July 2020: UK launches post-Brexit human rights sanctions program; US sanctions Chinese officials over Xinjiang and Tibet; Amazon fined for OFAC breaches; US lifts sanctions on Eritrea official.

Week ending 3 July 2020: Hong Kong sanctions await Trump’s signature; US agencies publish Xinjiang trade alert; EU sanctions Venezuela officials; DOJ tries to seize Iranian vessels; more comments on Hong Kong sanctions.

Week ending 26 June 2020: US suspends Hong Kong’s export controls status over China National Security Law; The latest on Hong Kong sanctions; OFAC targets Iran metals companies; Switzerland joins Nicaragua sanctions club.

Week ending 19 June 2020: US freezes assets of Nigerian scam artists;Trump signs Uyghur sanctions bill; OFAC targets Syrian elite; Mexico companies targeted for Venezuela trade; Singapore prosecutes North Korea fraud.

Week ending 12 June 2020: Trump threatens to sanction International Criminal Court; US re-sanctions Iranian shipping line; Venezuela’s money man detained in Africa; House Republicans propose major China, Russia sanctions.

Week ending 5 June 2020: Secretary Pompeo talks about Hong Kong sanctions; Congress also talks about Hong Kong sanctions; OFAC sanctions Greek vessels for Venezuelan oil; Marriott pulls out of Cuba.

Week ending 29 May 2020: Trump threatens Hong Kong sanctions, export controls; Congress passes Uyghur sanctions bill; DOJ unseals massive North Korea money laundering charges; Justine Walker reports on humanitarian payments.

Week ending 22 May 2020: Congress takes on China; Commerce Department hits Chinese tech firms for human rights abuses; OFAC sanctions Mahan Air agent in Shanghai; OFAC blacklists Nicaraguan officials.

Week ending 15 May 2020: OFAC issues long-awaited maritime guidance; Senate passes new China sanctions bill; Nynas escapes PdVSA sanctions; Amazon escapes Helms-Burton lawsuit; EU issues guidance on humanitarian trade with Syria.

Week ending 8 May 2020: Congress preps new China sanctions; US agricultural company fined for Cuba sales; FATF report highlights UAE compliance challenges; OFAC updates SDN aliases.

Week ending 1 May 2020: OFAC issues a finding of violation against Amex; OFAC and DOJ target Iranian nationals in tanker purchase scheme; US tightens military export controls on China, Russia, Venezuela; State Department pushes for more UN sanctions on Iran.

Week ending 24 April 2020: Industrial Bank of Korea hit with New York AML/sanctions action; OFAC cuts companies slack amid pandemic; UN sanctions CAR militant leader; GIR names “40 Under 40”.

Week ending 17 April 2020: OFAC encourages humanitarian shipments; UN report finds North Korea sanctions evasion; US warns on North Korea cyber security; Praise for OFAC Director Andrea Gacki.

Week ending 10 April 2020: Former diplomats urge Iran sanctions relief; US accuses Iran of COVID-19 relief “scam”; US labels Russian white supremacists terrorist group; Updated OFAC North Korea sanctions regulations.

Week ending 3 April 2020: Standard Chartered hit with big UK sanctions fine; US pushes Venezuela transition plan; Russia takes over Rosneft’s Venezuela activities; Plus a handy chart of OFAC licenses for COVID-19 shipments.

Week ending 20 March 2020: US hits companies with secondary sanctions for Iran petro-trade; OFAC targets Syrian Defense and new ISIS leader; US State Department knocks France for Iran prisoner swap.

Week ending 13 March 2020: Another Rosneft subsidiary sanctioned; OFAC targets Mexican bakery and sushi bar; OFAC sanctions Zimbabwe officials for human rights abuses; Amazon wins Cuba charcoal case.

Week ending 6 March 2020: OFAC sanctions Chinese nationals for crypto-laundering; Compliance uplift gets Russian company off the SDN List; Cambodia seizes tanker for North Korea transfers; US sanctions Nicaraguan police; OFAC issues FAQ on Iran COVID-19 shipments.

Week ending 28 February 2020: Swiss firm fined after sanctioned airlines access US computer services; US Treasury unveils Swiss-Iran humanitarian channel; UN Security Council sanctions Islamic State splinter groups; OFAC sanctions Lebanese for terrorism support.

Week ending 21 February 2020: OFAC sanctions Rosneft subsidiary; FATF blacklists Iran (again); Europe targets Syrian magnates; OFAC targets Iran election officials; More webinars.

Week ending 14 February 2020: DOJ charges New York and Texas residents for Iran conspiracy; Prosecutors link sanctions and AML in Puerto Rico and Bahrain; State Department green lights North Korea coronavirus aid; Free webinars galore.

Week ending 7 February 2020: DOJ indicts a Canadian resident for Iran payments; US bans Spanish CEO for Cuba hotel business; OFAC puts Venezuela airline on sanctions radar; ACAMS and RUSI launch non-proliferation report.

Week ending 31 January 2020: OFAC lifts secondary sanctions on COSCO subsidiary; Shipping company settles for Myanmar SDN transactions; US, Canada, EU team up for Crimea sanctions; Treasury touts Iran medical shipments.

Week ending 24 January 2020: Hong Kong, China companies hit with secondary sanctions; Lobbying firm settles with OFAC for global terrorism violations; EU slows down on JCPOA break up; Russia, China still home to North Korean workers despite UN sanctions.

Week ending 17 January 2020: Could UN reimpose Iran sanctions under the JCPOA? OFAC targets Venezuelan lawmakers; UK diverges from EU on Hizballah sanctions; Russian SDN loses court battle against Nordic banks.

Week ending 10 January 2020: White House announces new Iran secondary sanctions; EU countries lose patience with Iran on JCPOA; Cuba lawsuit fails in federal court; ACAMS hires global sanctions head.

Week ending 3 January 2020: Iran pulls back from the JCPOA (again) after drone strike; Trump threatens Iraq sanctions; District Court throws out OFAC penalty for unclear regulations; Venezuela heats up (again).


Week ending 27 December 2019: Russia vows to finish Nord Stream 2 pipeline; Congress presses for more sanctions; New York State cashes in on sanctions fines; My top-5 trends in 2019 and predictions for 2020.

Week ending 20 December 2019: Congress gives pipeline sanctions for Christmas; OFAC updates its naughty list; Australia starts a sanctions workshop; Turkey gets a lump of coal. Plus lots of stocking stuffers. Happy holidays, everyone!

Week ending 13 December 2019: OFAC marks Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day with sanctions; Insurance companies fined for Cuba travel policies; More sanctions for Mahan Air agents; OFAC warns about sanctioned art tied to Hizballah.

Week ending 29 November 2019: Trump signs Hong Kong sanctions act into law (with a caveat); OFAC slaps Apple for SDN apps; DOJ charges US citizen for teaching North Korea about crypto; Iran FAQs confirm no secondary sanctions on COSCO subs.

Week ending 22 November 2019: Senate sends Hong Kong sanctions bill to Trump; OFAC sanctions Iran communications minister for internet blackout; Huawei gets another license extension; Singapore national gets prison time for North Korea business.

Week ending 1 November 2019: Senators unveil a new Hong Kong sanctions bill; UK company fined for Syria phone calls; US expands Iran secondary sanctions (again); Zimbabwe minister banned under FORPA2.

Week ending 25 October 2019: So long Turkey-Syria sanctions; OFAC offers a deal on humanitarian trade with Iran; the DOJ seizes a North Korean ship; FATF’s president outlines his objectives at NDB conference.

Week ending 18 October 2019: More on Turkey-Syria sanctions; Halkbank indicted for Iran violations; COSCO Dalian gets a waiver; No more US-origin aircraft for Cuba; Tidbits from the ACI Singapore conference.

Week ending 11 October 2019: US sanctions Turkey for Syria offensive; OFAC sanctions the Guptas in South Africa; CNPC pulls out of Iran’s South Pars; Adobe nixes Photoshop accounts in Venezuela.

Week ending 4 October 2019: GE pays for Cuba-Canada business; OFAC targets Russians for election meddling; Another Treasury official bites the dust; Malaysia’s prime minister slams rich countries’ unilateral sanctions.

Week ending 27 September 2019: COSCO tankers hit with Iran secondary sanctions; Latest Helms-Burton claim targets Havana airport flights; EU targets Venezuelan officials; OFAC lets shipping companies off the hook for dropping Cuba business.

Week ending 20 September 2019: a UK bank pays for Sudan violations; US sanctions Iran’s Central Bank; more Venezuela corruption sanctions; RUSI report eyes UK sanctions after Brexit.

Week ending 13 September 2019: Treasury overhauls terrorism sanctions framework; US sanctions North Korea hackers; Ugandan police official sanctioned for corruption and rights abuses; John Bolton gets his pink slip; Headlines spark Rosneft Venezuela confusion.

Week ending 6 September 2019: US offers big cash for Iranian vessel; Trump admin nixes Cuba U-Turn license; State Department blasts Iran’s space program; OFAC sanctions Iranian shipping network.

Week ending 30 August 2019: OFAC sanctions an oil tanker for defying the US; Executive Order 13224 gets a work out; Iran sanctions a prominent DC think tank; Peter Harrell essays Congress’ power over sanctions.

Week ending 23 August 2019: Trump “hereby orders” a confusing tweet; Huawei gets a reprieve (kind of); the EU talks forest fire sanctions; OFAC sanctions opioid makers in China.

Week ending 16 August 2019: Gibraltar repels US warrant against Iranian tanker; An SDN’s bankruptcy leads to an OFAC fine; Singapore charges local company for North Korea wine sales; US bans a Sudan official for torture history.

Week ending 9 August 2019: US inches closer to a Venezuela embargo; UN mission calls for new Myanmar sanctions; OFAC settlement over Iran truck sales; Lebanese SDN sentenced to 5 years in US prison; NordLB tries to seize vessels for Iran voyages.

Week ending 2 August 2019: White House gives in to new Russia sanctions; OFAC sanctions Iran’s chief diplomat; Visa bans are all the rage; US Court of Appeals upholds contempt order against Chinese banks.

Week ending 26 July 2019: Chinese oil firm hit with US secondary sanctions; OFAC warns about Iranian airlines; Indictments for North Korea trade; US follows UN with new Mali sanctions.

Week ending 19 July 2019: The Pacific Bravo gets a makeover; the Trump administration sanctions human rights abuses in Iraq, Myanmar, Venezuela; Societe Generale hit with 792 million Cuba lawsuit.

Week ending 12 July 2019: Gibraltar and Iran haggle over a detained vessel; Rumors fly about a Trump DPRK deal; the PRC threatens US firms with Taiwan sanctions.

Week ending 28 June 2019: Chinese banks held in contempt over North Korea subpoenas; Trump sanctions Iran’s supreme leader; Trivago sued for Cuban hotel bookings; OFAC mints more Venezuelan SDNs.

Week ending 21 June 2019: OFAC sanctions the Four Seasons in Damascus; Travel agencies fined for violating the Cuba embargo; Canada targets Nicaraguan officials; OFAC sanctions a Russian bank for DPRK business.

Week ending 7 June 2019: the US says “no mas” to Cuba cruises; OFAC settles with Western Union; Iran’s petrochemical sector gets sanctioned; the DOJ cracks a scheme to get airline parts to Iran.

Week ending 31 May 2019: China threatens a new sanctions list; Treasury and State clash on EU-Iran trade; Hong Kong snubs US secondary sanctions; ACI hosts its Hong Kong Sanctions Summit.

Week ending 24 May 2019: Huawei gets a reprieve (kind of); OFAC targets an online pharmacy; the US Senate eyes South China Sea sanctions; India and Turkey await S-400 missile sanctions; the WSJ reports on a Venezuelan graft scheme.

Week ending 17 May 2019: Huawei gets put on the Entity List; OFAC targets human rights abuses; the UN sanctions ISIL in Asia; new EU cyber-attack sanctions.

Week ending 10 May 2019: Iran teases JCPOA withdrawal; OFAC rewards a defecting Venezuelan official; the US seizes a North Korea ship; OFAC expands Iran and Venezuela sanctions.

Week ending 3 May 2019: Carnival gets sued for Cuba cruises; OFAC gives some helpful compliance guidance; Chinese banks subpoenaed for North Korea transactions; the UN sanctions a Pakistan militant.

Week ending 26 April 2019: No more Iran oil waivers; China, Turkey and India defy US sanctions; a new Russia OFAC settlement; OFAC foments dissent in Venezuela.

Week ending 19 April 2019: Trump unleashes Helms-Burton on Cuba; the US takes on the troika of tyranny; Canada sanctions Venezuelan officials; UniCredit settles OFAC violations for $1.3 billion.

Week ending 12 April 2019: New OFAC settlements for SCB; an OFAC case involving private equity subsidiaries; Pakistan joins the fight against terrorism; and an ACAMS podcast featuring OFAC’s former director.

Week ending 5 April 2019: OFAC eyes Cuba in push for Venezuela oil sanctions; Congress cooks up two new sanctions bills; North Korea can’t quit those ship-to-ship transfers; the US labels part of Iran’s military a terrorist group.

Week ending 29 March 2019: OFAC drills Black & Decker for Iran violations; Trump’s North Korea tweet still confuses everyone; Treasury doubles down on Iran sanctions; OFAC updates its Syria petroleum guidance.

Week ending 22 March 2019: Trump tweet spoils new North Korea sanctions; Canada sanctions Russia; OFAC targets Venezuela’s development bank; Iraq gets a new Iran sanctions waiver.

Week ending 8 March 2019: North Korea loves cryptocurrency; the DOJ indicts Venezuela’s former VP; new Cuba sanctions land with a thud; the US sanctions an Iraqi militia for supporting Iran.

Week ending 1 March 2019: Trump threatens Cuba doomsday sanctions; the UK has its first sanctions penalty; a Boeing got stuck in Iran; the UN sanctions bin Laden’s son.

Week ending 22 February 2019: Another OFAC case involving Iran trade; OFAC sanctions a whole family in Dubai; OPEC sticks by Venezuela; and a state-owned bank in India profits from Iran petroleum.

Week ending 15 February 2019: OFAC fines a German company for Cuba business; the US sanctions more Venezuelan officials; the sanctions bill from hell is back.

Week ending 8 February 2019: OFAC targets Turkey-Iran trade; North Korea evades UN sanctions; the FBI raids a Puerto Rico bank; a US ambassador threatens EU firms about Iran business (again).

Week ending 1 February 2019: Florida sanctions Airbnb (really); OFAC goes for the jugular in Venezuela; the EU launches its Iran payments vehicle; North Korea exports false eyelashes.

Week ending 25 January 2019: Wolfsberg publishes a must-read sanctions guidance; the DOJ indicts Huawei; Germany bans Mahan Air; all roads lead to Damascus.

Week ending 18 January 2019: Congress fails to block OFAC’s deal with a Russian oligarch; the US eyes Venezuela oil sanctions; Congress plans more China sanctions.

Week ending 11 January 2019: The EU sanctions Iran officials; some OFAC employees are disgruntled; OFAC sanctions a Venezuelan TV network; Venezuela takes the US to the WTO.

Week ending 4 January 2019: How the US government shutdown slows sanctions; OFAC lets some Russian companies off the hook; Oleg Deripaska is still on the naughty list; the EU continues its Russia sanctions.


Week ending 14 December 2018: Awaiting news on Huawei’s CFO; OFAC settles with a Chinese oil firm; OFAC sanctions South Sudan weapons dealers; the EU targets Ukrainian separatists.

Week ending 7 December 2018: Huawei’s CFO gets picked up in Canada; HSBC’s monitor pointed the finger; an SDN pleads guilty for laundering his own funds; Siemens employees are under investigation for Crimean turbines.

Week ending 30 November 2018: OFAC sanctions bitcoin addresses; the DOJ announces big North Korea and Iran cases; Canada sanctions 17 Saudi nationals; did the EU ban MBS?

Week ending 23 November 2018: Société Générale gets hit with a $1.34 billion settlement, the EU sanctions Saudis for l’affaire Khashoggi, OFAC uncovers an Iran-Russia-Syria oil scheme.

Week ending 16 November 2018: OFAC sanctions 17 Saudi officials for journalist’s killing; Congress urges China sanctions; the Trump administration promotes human rights with the Magnitsky Act (really).

Week ending 9 November 2018: Iran secondary sanctions are back (with some exceptions), OFAC sanctions a luxury hotel in Crimea, RUSAL gets its sixth reprieve, I argue that the EU is doing Trump a favor by doing business in Iran.

Week ending 2 November 2018: Iran secondary sanctions are back in force; Trump targets Venezuelan gold; John Bolton threatens Cuba and Nicaragua; I share some key points from a sanctions summit.

Week ending 26 October 2018: Bank of Kunlun drops its Iran business; the DOJ indicts a Singapore national for North Korea trade; a Russian oligarch sues EU banks; Australia punishes Myanmar military officers.

Week ending 5 October 2018: OFAC fines JPMorgan; Iran gets a boost at the ICJ; OFAC hits the Yakuza; India defies the US to buy Russian missiles.

Week ending 28 September 2018: Europe plans a new Iran payment system; North Korea launders cryptocurrency; OFAC sanctions Maduro’s wife.

Week ending 21 September 2018: US sanctions Chinese military purchases from Russia; RUSAL gets another OFAC reprieve; Mnuchin accidentally sanctions Deripaska; North Korea evades.

Week ending 14 September 2018: John Bolton threatens to sanction the ICC; the EU Court upholds Russia designations; OFAC bags another Mahan Air agent; Trump orders election interference sanctions.

Week ending 7 September 2018: a US official threatens EU companies on Iran; the US weighs measures concerning Maldives; OFAC targets a North Korea hacker; my comments on the problem with unnamed sources.

Week ending 31 August 2018: Iran and the USA appear at the ICJ; the FBI tries to flip Deripaska; members of Congress want China sanctions; SCB faces another fine.

Week ending 24 August 2018: OFAC designates more Russians; Air France, KLM, and BA pull out of Iran; the Commerce Department plays favorites; the EU blocking regulation is Swiss cheese.

Week ending 10 August 2018: Trump reimposes Iran secondary sanctions; the US sanctions Russia for chemical weapons; OFAC wins in DC court; RUSAL stock is up.

Week ending 3 August 2018: OFAC targets Turkey; a Russian bank gets blocked for North Korea transactions; the Best Western quits Crimea.

Week ending 20 July 2018: Tesla batteries spark Cuba sanctions concerns; Iran takes the USA to the ICJ; OFAC might let RUSAL off the hook. Plus a fun fact.

Week ending 13 July 2018: An update on Exxon’s case against OFAC; the US accuses North Korea of breaking UN sanctions; South Sudan gets an arms embargo; Mnuchin says no Iran waiver for France.

Week ending 6 July 2018: The Trump admin waivers on sanctions waivers, the EU extends its sectoral sanctions against Russia, Taiwan prosecutes a North Korea sanctions evader.

Week ending 29 June 2018: OFAC pulls JCPOA licenses; Magnitsky sanctions take off; Myanmar fires a sanctioned general; some thoughts on the Trump admin’s communication style.

Week ending 22 June 2018: ZTE can’t fix its toilets; the EU is asked to sanction Trump; Sistema is in the cross-hairs; a US official defends the JCPOA withdrawal.

Week ending 8 June 2018: JCPOA developments; OFAC penalizes Ericsson; ZTE gets a second chance; an SDN sues his bankers.

Week ending 25 May 2018: RUSAL executives and directors try to appease OFAC, Mike Pence disses Venezuela, the UK gets a Brexit sanctions law, fake news about China sanctions.

Week ending 18 May 2018: The EU unleashes the blocking statute; a Turkish banker goes to prison, RUSAL tries to wriggle away from OFAC.

Week ending 11 May 2018: Trump backs out of the JCPOA, the UAE sanctions Iran too, OFAC is underfunded.

Week ending 27 April 2018: OFAC plays nice with RUSAL (kind of), Huawei is in the DOJ cross hairs, the EU eyes new Myanmar sanctions.

Week ending 13 April 2018: Russia sanctions take a bite, John Smith resigns from OFAC; North Korea, Iran, and Syria simmer.

Week ending 6 April 2018: My views on Friday’s big OFAC sanctions against Russia; the UN pressures North Korea; Iran evasion makes headlines.

Week ending 23 March 2018: Cyber activity is front and center; OFAC targets Iranian hackers; Trump sanctions Venezuela cryptocurrencies; the State Department dings South Sudan’s oil companies.

Week ending 16 March 2018: The UN Panel of Experts report on North Korea is out; OFAC sanctioned Russians for hacking; the Iran deal is back in the news.

Week ending 9 March 2018: North Korea gets sanctioned for chemical weapons; a property company in Australia gets caught trading North Korean coal; Anahita Thoms writes about cryptocurrency.

Week ending 2 March 2018: Exxon Mobil retreats from Rosneft; the Trump administration eyes punishing Chinese banks; 38 North publishes a great analysis on North Korea.

Week ending 23 February 2018: OFAC hits North Korea with “largest ever” sanctions (really?); Latvia’s ABLV Bank goes under after FinCEN action; Citgo feels the pinch from US Venezuela restrictions.

Week ending 16 February 2018: The US Treasury hits Latvia’s 3rd largest bank with a section 311 designation for North Korea transactions; Canada sanctions a Myanmar general for human rights abuses; Zimbabwe faces a US sanctions renewal.

Week ending 9 February 2018: North Korea gets sanctions relief for the Olympics; Tillerson presses for a Venezuela oil embargo; the DOJ moves to strip a sanctions evader of his US citizenship.

Week ending 2 February 2018: the US targets Russian elites; North Korea sells weapons to Syria; South Sudan faces an arms embargo.

Week ending 26 January 2018: The US Treasury calls out China and Hong Kong on North Korea sanctions; OFAC sides with Siemens over turbines in Crimea; Japan reports suspicious activity to the UN.

Week ending 19 January 2018: A top sanctions expert leaves the US government; Canada hosts a coalition against North Korea, OFAC comes out against Venezuela’s digital currency.

Week ending 12 January 2018: Happy MLK Jr Day to my friends in the USA. Donald Trump thumps the JCPOA again; Taiwan upholds UN sanctions; plus more.

Week ending 5 January 2018: Turkey faces scrutiny; South Korea seizes vessels; Russia and Venezuela look to cryptocurrencies for sanctions relief.


Week ending 1 December 2017: Turkey is under the sanctions microscope; a breakthrough in the Russia sanctions intrigue; the United Nations targets human trafficking in Libya.

Week ending 3 November 2017: ACI holds a conference in Singapore; Canada sanctions dozens under the Magnitsky law; and human rights activists call for new Myanmar sanctions.

Week ending 27 October 2017: The State Department finally gets around to complying with CAATSA; OFAC teams up with Saudi Arabia on Yemen sanctions; a Zimbabwean bank enters the cross hairs.

Week ending 13 October 2017: Trump continues a one-man crusade against Iran; the Rohingya crisis could lead to sanctions for Myanmar’s military; and the UN sanctions North Korea’s boats.

Week ending 6 October 2017: OFAC plans to nix Sudan sanctions; OFAC dings company for Sudan paper shipments; Iraq sanctions Kurdish banks.

Week ending 8 September 2017: Bankers face prison time for sanctions violations; the United States bullies the Security Council; New York State expels Habib Bank for failing at compliance.

Week ending 25 August 2017: Apple snubs Iranian app developers; Venezuela hit with new US sanctions; the Trump admin learns to love OFAC.

Week ending 11 August 2017: The United Nations sanctions North Korea; OFAC designates a Mexican soccer star; and more.

Week ending 4 August 2017: OFAC sanctions Venezuela’s president; the EU takes Siemens’ side in a Crimea dispute; the UK previews its Brexit sanctions strategy; President Trump signs a new sanctions law.

Week ending 28 July 2017: a new Iran-North Korea-Russia sanctions law; an OFAC enforcement case; and more.

Week ending 21 July 2017: Exxon gets hit with an OFAC penalty; the US targets Iranian hackers; Latvia keeps fining banks for North Korea trade.

Week ending 14 July 2017: The US hit pause on Sudan; China faced pressure on North Korea; and more.

Week ending 7 July 2017: Total and Volkswagen strike new Iran deals; the DOJ hunts down North Korean money; Siemens faces a potential Crimea sanctions violation.

Week ending 30 June 2017: North Korea takes center stage; a new OFAC enforcement case involving AIG; a major asset seizure decision against Iran.

Week ending 23 June 2017: Sanctions against Russia grow; the EU takes on cyber threats; and more.

Week ending 16 June 2017: Tweaks to US Cuba sanctions; the Senate passes a new Russia/Sanctions bill; the Qatar embargo continues.

Week ending 9 June 2017: Another week, another round of sanctions news. Congress could sanction Russia and Iran in one go. Plus a new OFAC settlement.

Week ending 2 June 2017: The UN and OFAC target North Korea; Russia ends Turkey sanctions; the US and EU cooperate on Democratic Republic of Congo sanctions.

Week ending 26 May 2017: I read the news so you don’t have to — here are the latest happenings in the world of economic sanctions, including a major development from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

Week ending 19 May 2017: The US waives Iran sanctions; Canada plans Magnitsky-style sanctions; the UN condemns North Korea testing; and OFAC sanctions a slew of targets.

(The views expressed are my own and do not constitute legal advice. Photo from Vladislav Reshetnyak.)



Nicholas Turner

US attorney in Hong Kong specializing in economic sanctions, financial crimes. This is an archive of briefings published between 2017 and 2022.