Seven-year sentences on the cards for UK sanctions violators

Posted on: 01/03/2016

The UK government has introduced new legislation to Parliament, seeking to increase the sentences available to regulators for sanctions violations, while also expanding the Treasury’s scope with regard to civil fines on individuals and entities believed to have committed a sanctions breach.

Sections 89 and 90 of the Policing and Crime Bill increase sentences for sanctions violations (including new offences), on summary conviction from six months to 12 months, and on conviction on indictment from two years to seven years.

Furthermore, section 91 of the bill grants the Treasury the right to impose a monetary penalty of up to £1,000,000, or 50% of the estimated value of the funds or resources, in cases where it deems that the following conditions are met:

  • ‘The person has breached a prohibition, or failed to comply with an obligation, that is imposed by or under financial sanctions legislation;
  • The person knew, or had reasonable cause to suspect, that the person was in breach of the prohibition or (as the case may be) had failed to comply with the obligation.’

This would represent a substantial increase in the potency of enforcement powers available in the UK.’

The Policing and Crime Bill is available in full here:

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