The publication of the list underlines how the UK is now taking such steps on its own account and not under the umbrella of transnational groups such as the UN or the European Union. The report also reminds wealth managers of the importance of KYC and their background checks on politically exposed persons.
The UK’s foreign ministry has issued a list of individuals being sanctioned, mostly from the former Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia, as the government acts unilaterally to target specific individuals accused of wrongdoing. The move is a break with past practice when the UK typically acted as part of the European Union or other transnational entities in taking such measures.
A total of 47 people and two organisations behind human rights violations are listed, such as those accused of being involved in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The government will freeze their assets and ban these persons from the UK. Another case involved atrocities in Myanmar and the role of the country’s military top brass.
While these individuals were in many cases already sanctioned, the publication of a list yesterday signalled that the UK is now taking such steps on its own. The policy was announced yesterday by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
These lists highlight the need for private bankers and other advisors to have up-to-date information on individuals who are subject to such laws or who may be at risk. (This news service recently spoke to smartKYC’s chief executive Dermot Corrigan about some of the issues in the know-your-client field.)
The persons involved in the list include Dmitry Borisovich Kratov, chief medical officer/deputy head of Butyrka Prison. The statement from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office describes him as being the chief medical officer and deputy prison head at the prison where Sergei Magnitsky was held, and “responsible for the mistreatment” that “contributed significantly to his death”. Another person, called Aleksey Vasilyevich Anichin, deputy minister in the Russian interior ministry, was also involved in Magnitsky’s mistreatment, the document said. The document listed a number of other persons related to Magnitsky's case who are banned from the UK and whose assets in the country have been frozen.
In a Saudi case, the document refers to Fahad Shabib A Albalawi, described as being a Royal Guard in Saudi Arabia. “He was directly involved in carrying out the unlawful killing of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018, as part of the 15-man team sent to Turkey by Saudi authorities,” the report said.
The Mynanmar-related case refers to Min Aung Hlaing, senior general, Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, said to be responsible for military operations carried out in Rakhine State in 2017 and in 2019, who is responsible for atrocities and serious human rights violations committed against the Rohingya population in Rakhine state by the Tatmadaw. The document also refers to Soe Win, vice senior general, and second-in-command of the Myanmar Armed Forces.