In April, OFAC announced implementation of three new sanctions against several entities and individuals designated for, among others, materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial support to certain foreign entities. In addition, OFAC updated its list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons.

Libya-Based ISIS Financial Facilitators / Algerian ISIS Supporter and Arms Trafficker. On April 13, OFAC imposed sanctions against certain Libyan and Algerian financial facilitators for their roles in assisting ISIS’s financial operations in Libya. The designations block the individuals, one of whom was designated as engaging in actions through weapon trafficking, from the global financial system, and further state that “all property and interests in property . . . subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with” the identified individuals.

Syrian “Research Center” Accused of Developing Weapons. On April 24, OFAC announced it was taking action against 271 employees of a Syrian research center for “developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them.” The sanctions came as a reaction to the widely- reported April 4 sarin gas attack against civilians, and followed sanctions announced January 12 against 18 officials, five branches of the Syrian military, and associated entities for their participation in a chemical weapons program responsible for attacks in 2014 and 2015. The 271 named individuals are “designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, and having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of Syria.” The new sanctions block U.S. persons from dealing with these employees.

Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions. OFAC made additions to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, which designates individuals and companies who are prohibited from dealing with the U.S. and whose assets are blocked. Transactions are prohibited if they involve transferring, paying, exporting, or otherwise deal in the property or interest in property of an entity or individual on the SDN list. Additions to the list include Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions Regulations against two Mexican entities, and Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations against a Saudi individual.