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Will new anti-corruption sanctions by UK Government target Nawaz & Altaf?

Under the new Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime, individuals and organizations working and residing in UK that are involved in money laundering are to be targeted. Pakistanis demand the Regime to act against Nawaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain as well.

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British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced that under the UK’s Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime, financial sanctions, import/export and travel bans, and embargoes are to be imposed against individuals involved in serious corruption to ensure that they are no longer able to channel their money through UK banks or enter the country.

The sanction targets corrupt individuals involved in money laundering that have not only caused financial damage to their countries but have also lined their own pockets through misappropriation.

In an official statement, Dominic further elaborated that these new sanctions are to be implemented specifically for 5 individuals involved in serious corruption in Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Iraq.

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Demand of the nation about Nawaz & Altaf

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is responsible for negotiating international sanctions and holds responsibility for the UK’s policy on sanctions and embargoes.

An official tweet from FCO confirmed the news. Many Pakistanis pointed out that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Leader of MQM-London Altaf Hussain should also be under the radar of the new sanction as they have been accused of corruption in Pakistan and are residing in London on Political asylum.

Altaf Hussain and Nawaz Sharif were trending on Twitter on Thursday after the news broke.

Background

In the start of May 2018, the UK House of Commons added the “Magnitsky amendment” to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that allowed the British government to impose sanctions on people who committed corruption and money laundering as well as gross human rights violations.

On 12th July 2020, the sanction was implemented on 49 individuals, of whom 25 were Russians involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, 20 were Saudi Arabians involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, two Myanmar military generals involved in the systematic violence against the Rohingya people and two organizations of North Korea involved in torture, murder and forced labor.

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26th April 2021 marked the UK’s first sanctions under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 to go in action. The Regulations were made after combining the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 with UK Global Human Rights regime introduced earlier in July 2020.

The 22 targeted individuals included several from Latin America involved in corruption as well as other crimes such as facilitating bribes to support major drug trafficking organizations.

Additionally, 14 Russian individuals were also targeted that were involved in the diversion of $230 million of Russian state property through a fraudulent tax refund scheme uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky in 2009.

3 South Africans were also caught for their roles in serious corruption, which caused significant damage to the country’s economy and a South Sudanese businessman for his involvement in the misappropriation of significant amounts of state assets.

Consequences

The charged individuals and organizations can face imprisonment for up to 7 years and/or unlimited fine.

The corporate entities working under such crimes can either be charged with a fine of 50% of the total breach value, or up to £1 million (whichever is greatest). Additionally, if the sanction breach was consented by an individual, they may face imprisonment and/or fine along with the corporation.

Goods that are traded without proper license approval could be seized and fined as well.

Read more: Maryam Nawaz trolled for posting fake image of Nawaz Sharif in Kashmir

According to an estimate, over 2% of global GDP is lost to corruption every single year and UK government is planning to take serious action against the corrupt individuals residing in the country.

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