On December 9 and 10, 2019, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) added 60 persons to its list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN List”) pursuant to the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (“GLOMAG”), and the 2017 Executive Order (E.O.) 13818. Among these persons, there are nationals from Libya, Pakistan, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Uganda, Slovakia, Serbia, Cambodia, Latvia, China and Cyprus.
Pursuant to GLOMAG and the E.O. 13818, the U.S. Government may sanction foreign persons believed to be involved in serious human rights abuse or corruption in a foreign country, as well as those who assist or provide material support, including goods and services, to the sanctioned persons or activities. These foreign persons are added to OFAC’s SDN List and all of their properties within or transiting U.S. jurisdiction are blocked. Additionally, if they are not authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with these foreign persons or entities in which they have, directly or indirectly, 50% or greater ownership interest.
As a result of the investigations conducted by OFAC and other U.S. Government agencies targeting corruption and human rights abuses, including the investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, the number of persons sanctioned pursuant to GLOMAG continues to grow. In 2019, OFAC had already added a number of persons from South Africa, Turkey, and Mexico to its SDN List. Companies operating in countries with corruption and human rights abuses-related risks should implement the pertinent compliance measures to prevent sanctions under GLOMAG for assisting or supporting these crimes or the persons added by OFAC to its SDN List.