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QUESTION

What is a sanctions list?

ANSWER

A sanctions list features designated individuals and entities that every individual should not legally engage in any business or commercial activity with, due to their relations with proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, threats to national security, foreign policy or economy of the country. This requires financial institutions to immediately freeze funds, other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities. Financial institutions should not enter into financial transactions or provide financial assistance or services in relation to designated individuals, entities or items, proliferation and nuclear, or other sanctioned activities and inform the relevant authority of any fact or information relating to the funds, other financial assets or economic resources owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a designated individual or entity.

For instance, Singapore, as a member of the United Nations, implements the Resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) through domestic laws and money changers alongside with financial institutions that have to adhere to the regulations imposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Under the MAS Act, a financial institution that contravenes any MAS Regulations is guilty of an offence and will be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1 million.

Individuals should screen their clients against the lists before engaging in any business or commercial activity with them and ensure that they do not deal with designated individuals and entities as defined in the respective regulations of the relevant state authority. Anyone conducting business in Singapore for example, may refer to the lists here for a listing of sanctioned individuals/entities.

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