The UK has issued the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 (the “Regulations“), which came into force on 26 April 2021. These Regulations are designed to ensure that sanctions relating to serious incidents of corruption are enforced.
The Regulations will give the government the power to impose asset freezes on designated persons or those dealing with them, with the aim of preventing the UK from being used as a “haven for dirty money.” This is the first time that the UK has imposed sanctions relating to corruption.
22 individuals have been added to the Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime, including 14 Russian individuals involved in corruption cases, three South African businessmen, three individuals in Latin America, and an individual from Sudan accused of misappropriating state assets. No entities have been added so far.
This move brings the UK into step with the United States and Canada, which have similar existing anti-corruption sanctions regimes. The new Regulations will provide an opportunity for the UK, US and Canada to take complementary actions and in partnership. The US Treasury department has welcomed this move in a press release.