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UK's Counter-Terrorist Asset-Freezing Regime

Volume 533: debated on Tuesday 18 October 2011

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (the Act), the Treasury is required to report quarterly to Parliament on the operation of the UK’s asset-freezing regime mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

This is the third report under the Act and it covers the period from 1 July 2011 to 30 September 20111.

This report also covers the UK implementation of the UN al-Qaeda asset-freezing regime.

As of 30 September 2011, a total of just over £200,0002 of funds were held frozen in the UK. This covers funds frozen under the UK’s domestic terrorist asset-freezing regime, mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1373, and also funds frozen under the UN al-Qaeda asset-freezing regime, mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 1989.

(1) UK’s domestic terrorist asset freezing regime under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010

As of 30 September 2011, a total of 84 accounts containing just over £100,000 were frozen in the UK under the domestic terrorist asset-freezing regime. No new accounts were frozen during the quarter.

Operation of the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010

Asset-freezing designations and reviews

In the period from 1 July 2011 to 30 September 2011, the Treasury made no new designations under the Act. No reviews of existing designations were completed during the quarter.

Licensing

A total of 10 licences were issued this quarter under the Act in relation to six persons subject to an asset-freeze.

In addition to issuing licences relating to a specific person, the Treasury may also issue general licences, which apply to all persons designated under a particular regime or regimes.

No general licences were issued this quarter under the Act.

Legal Challenges

Two legal challenges against designations made under both the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2009 and the Act were ongoing in the quarter covered by this report.

(2) UN Al-Qaeda Asset-Freezing Regime

The UN al-Qaeda asset-freezing regime, established under UNSCR 1267, is implemented in the UK by Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002. Following the split of the UNSCR 1267 al-Qaeda and Taliban regime into two separate regimes in June, this quarterly report will cover just the UN al-Qaeda regime mandated by UNSCR 1989.

As of 30 September 2011, a total of 41 accounts containing just over £100,0003 were frozen in the UK under the al-Qaeda asset-freezing regime. The unfreezing of 43 accounts since the previous quarter was a result of a number of delistings by the UN (see the listings section below).

Listings

During this quarter, the EU added six people and two entities to the list in annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002.

Six people and three entities were delisted during the quarter. Of these, five individuals and three entities had UK connections.

Licences

One individual licence was issued in this quarter in relation to a person subject to an asset freeze under the al-Qaeda asset-freezing regime.

Seventeen licences were revoked in respect of the five individuals who were delisted.

(3) Proceedings

In the quarter to 30 September 2011, no proceedings were initiated in respect of breaches of the prohibitions of the Act or the Al-Qaida and Taliban (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2010.

1The detail that can be provided to the House on a quarterly basis is subject to the need to avoid the identification, directly or indirectly, of personal or operationally sensitive information.

2This figure reflects the most up-to-date account balances available and includes approximately $64,000 of suspected terrorist funds frozen in the UK. This has been converted using exchange rates as of 05/10/11.

3Includes approximately $64,000 of suspected terrorist funds in the UK.