On 23 March 2012, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed to add twelve natural persons and two petroleum companies to the EU's asset freeze list as from 24 March 2012 by means of Council Implementing Decision 2012/172/CFSP and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 266/2012.
This new round of sanctions follows numerous others and amends the basic Council Decision 2011/782/CFSP and Council Implementing Regulation 36/2012. For previous alerts on the EU Syria sanctions regime, see our alerts of 6 December 2011, 20 January 2012, 25 January 2012 and 29 February 2012.
Four members of President Al-Assad's family (including his wife, mother, and sister), two current Ministers, five Ministers of State, one business partner of two other listed persons and co-owner of a currency exchange company, and two state-owned petroleum companies (Syrian Petroleum Company and Mahrukat Company) have been added to the EU's asset freeze list (contained in Annex II to Regulation 36/2012).
This means that as of 24 March 2012, all funds and economic resources belonging to or controlled by these parties, and falling under EU jurisdiction (e.g. held by EU banks), are frozen (with limited exceptions requiring prior Member State authorisation). Likewise, no funds or economic resources can be made available – directly or indirectly - to or for the benefit of these parties by parties falling under EU jurisdiction.
In addition, the existing entries for 8 listed natural persons have been updated.
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