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The UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the body tasked by the UK Treasury to administer and enforce financial sanctions in the UK, has issued its biggest monetary penalty to date, against the UK arm of an international telecommunications company for breaching sanctions imposed on a Syrian entity. The £146,341 monetary penalty was issued against Telia Carrier UK Limited, which is said to have ‘indirectly facilitated international telephone calls to SyriaTel’, an entity subject to EU sanctions under the Syria (European Union Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2012.

This is only the third fine imposed by OFSI since the office was established in April 2016. The previous two fines, imposed earlier this year against Raphaels Bank (£5,000) and Travelex (£10,000), respectively, pale in significance. None of the three fines begins to compare to the enforcement activity of the well-established and longer functioning U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which has imposed a total of £1.2 billion in fines in 2019 alone.

Click here for the full GT Alert, OFSI Finds Its Teeth While OFAC Continues to Enforce Against Non-U.S. Corporates.

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Photo of Anne-Marie Ottaway Anne-Marie Ottaway

Anne-Marie Ottaway focuses on white collar and economic crime and government and internal investigations. Acknowledged for her criminal defence work, Anne-Marie provides clients with advice on all aspects of investigations relating to allegations of fraud, bribery, and corruption, as well as providing advice…

Anne-Marie Ottaway focuses on white collar and economic crime and government and internal investigations. Acknowledged for her criminal defence work, Anne-Marie provides clients with advice on all aspects of investigations relating to allegations of fraud, bribery, and corruption, as well as providing advice in respect of the implementation of effective anti-fraud, bribery and corruption compliance programmes and related anti-money laundering issues. She is recognized by Chambers & Partners for her “growing reputation for defending corporate clients subject to fraud and bribery allegations.”

Photo of Gareth Hall Gareth Hall

Gareth Hall has a range of experience representing clients throughout special investigations and criminal litigation. He has represented individuals subject to investigations conducted by the National Crime Agency (NCA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for a…

Gareth Hall has a range of experience representing clients throughout special investigations and criminal litigation. He has represented individuals subject to investigations conducted by the National Crime Agency (NCA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for a range of matters including complex conspiracies, fraud, money laundering and bribery. Gareth also has higher rights of audience and has appeared as an advocate, representing individuals in the Crown Court.

Photo of Kara M. Bombach Kara M. Bombach

Kara Bombach assists companies and organizations to lawfully export goods, technology and services around the globe. She places emphasis on helping clients achieve practical, workable solutions to complex regulatory situations arising under anti-corruption and anti-bribery measures (U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and

Kara Bombach assists companies and organizations to lawfully export goods, technology and services around the globe. She places emphasis on helping clients achieve practical, workable solutions to complex regulatory situations arising under anti-corruption and anti-bribery measures (U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and OECD Convention), export control laws (EAR and ITAR), anti-boycott laws, and special sanctions (embargoes) maintained by the U.S. government (OFAC and other agencies) against various countries (including Iran, Cuba and Russia), entities and individuals. In cases of foreign investment in the United States, Kara advises on the Exon-Florio provisions relating to U.S. national security concerns. She represents companies before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and also assists clients in mitigating foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI) as may be required by CFIUS or U.S. national industrial security regulations.

Kara regularly represents clients in matters before U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, Treasury and Defense. Kara has significant experience representing individuals and entities before OFAC in delisting matters and challenges to OFAC sanctions designations.

She advises national and multi-national companies (including Fortune® 5) on best practices in the development and delivery of compliance policies and procedures, training, and risk assessments, as well as executing cross-border export, sanctions and anti-corruption due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, targeted internal risk assessments, and compliance investigations.

Kara also counsels international not-for-profit and relief/aid organizations on best practices in economic sanctions, trade, and anti-corruption compliance issues that arise in their global operations, frequently in challenging and austere environments. She has provided legal services to organizations such as Save the Children (US), ONE Campaign, Mercy Corps, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Not on Our Watch/The Sentry, and The Enough Project.

Photo of Barry Vitou Barry Vitou

Barry Vitou is Co-Chair of the Global White Collar Criminal Defense Practice and head of London’s White Collar Defense & Special Investigations Practice, advising corporations and individuals in connection with compliance, pre-investigations, investigations, and prosecutions conducted by numerous law enforcement agencies. Barry frequently…

Barry Vitou is Co-Chair of the Global White Collar Criminal Defense Practice and head of London’s White Collar Defense & Special Investigations Practice, advising corporations and individuals in connection with compliance, pre-investigations, investigations, and prosecutions conducted by numerous law enforcement agencies. Barry frequently represents clients under investigation by U.K. and U.S. law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, including the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Conduct Authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Barry regularly appears on television and radio, discussing the topics of corruption, money laundering, and the UK Bribery Act.