Muammar Gadhafi Placed on OFAC SDN List; $30 Billion Located and Frozen

February 28, 2011

Last Friday, the White House announced Muammar Gadhafi has been placed on the OFAC SDN List. As of today, OFAC has located and frozen at least $30 billion in Libyan assets as it seeks to deprive leader Muammar Gadhafi of access to government and personal accounts.

President Obama singed into effect an Executive Order blocking property and prohibiting certain transactions related to Libya. The E.O. targets Gadhafi, senior government officials, Gadhafi’s children, material supporters of the Government of Libya and the Central Bank of Libya.

Over the weekend, the United Nations unanimously approved a resolution sanctioning Libya, and the U.K. announced its own measures following the U.N. guidelines. Monday morning, the European Union announced its own measures that extended the U.N. sanctions to 20 additional individuals.

The U.S. and international sanctions are a direct financial attack against Gadhafi and his supporters, clearly indicating the concern regarding the current regime and the effort to sever Gadhafi from his financial assets.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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OFAC’s Power Extends to Vessels on the High Seas

February 17, 2011

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is issuing General License No. 3 under the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 544, authorizing certain transactions related to the arrest, detention and judicial sale of the MV First Ocean and the MV Second Ocean, which are two vessels on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list.

These vessels are currently under arrest in Chiwan and Qingdao, the People’s Republic of China, respectively. The general license allows for the purchase and acquisition of the vessels, as well as guidance for expedited SDN removal.

As this case demonstrates, in addition to individuals and entities, OFAC has the authority to place vessels on the SDN List as part of it’s broad sanctions power.

For a complete reading of the license, which provides insight into OFAC’s requirements for SDN removal, please click here.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Ivory Coast Treasury Catches Fire; President Feels Heat of Financial Sanctions

February 10, 2011

A fire at the Treasury building in downtown Abidjan on Tuesday destroyed financial records on at least three floors, officials said. The fire comes at a time of increasing fiscal strain for the president, Laurent Gbagbo, who is facing international financial sanctions because he has refused to step down after losing an election in November. Last week, the United States ambassador, Phillip Carter, said Gbagbo had been extorting businesses to pay their taxes in advance.

In January, Gbagbo and his wife, Simone Gbagbo, were targeted by OFAC and added to the Specially Designated Nationals List. As a result, U.S. persons are prohibited from conducting financial or commercial transactions with Gbagbo and his wife, and any assets of the designees within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

Also designated were three of Gbagbo’s senior advisors and members of his inner circle, Desire Tagro, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, and Alcide Ilahiri Djedje for acting for or on his behalf. View the Treasury Department press release here.

Gbagbo became president of the Ivory Coast in 2000, defeating a candidate backed by a military junta that had seized power the year before. His term ended in 2005, but he stayed on amidst lingering rebellion in the country’s north and deep splits in the country’s leadership. He was defeated in an election in November 2010 but has shown no intention of stepping down.

Alassane Ouattara, the man the United Nations, the African Union and other foreign powers say defeated Gbagbo, remains blockaded in a hotel by Gbagbo’s security forces, even as new sanctions and financial pressures rain down almost daily on Gbagbo. Veteran observers say the country may be headed for another civil war. According to the United Nations, more than 200 people have been killed in postelection violence.

Gbagbo has control over one of Africa’s most valuable commodities, cocoa (Ivory Coast is the world’s biggest producer). However, with his recent SDN designation, Gbagbo will not be able to engage in any transaction with a person, business or entity with financial ties to the United States.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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