The United Kingdom government has announced it has imposed sanctions on 22 individuals in various countries around the world involved in serious fraud and corruption

The sanctions, the first using new powers under the UK’s new Global Anti-Corruption Regime, will prevent the individuals from entering or channelling money through the UK.

Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, said the UK is saying to those involved in corruption “we will not tolerate you or your dirty money in our country”.

The sanctions list (see box below for more) includes people accused of involvement in embezzlement, bribery, colluding with terrorists and drug trafficking, as well as 14 Russians linked to a major fraud.

Raab said: “Corruption has a corrosive effect as it slows development, drains the wealth of poorer nations and keeps their people trapped in poverty. It poisons the well of democracy.

“The individuals we have sanctioned today have been involved in some of the most notorious corruption cases around the world.”

The sanctions are imposed under new powers through the post-Brexit Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021.


At-a-glance: the individuals sanctioned by the UK

The UK’s first wave of sanctions is targeting:

  • those involved in the diversion of $230 million of Russian state property through a fraudulent tax refund scheme uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky – one of the largest tax frauds in recent Russian history.
  • Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta and their associate Salim Essa, for their roles in serious corruption. They were at the heart of a long-running process of corruption in South Africa which caused significant damage to its economy.
  • Sudanese businessman Ashraf Seed Ahmed Hussein Ali, widely known as Al Cardinal, for his involvement in the misappropriation of significant amounts of state assets in one of the poorest countries in the world. This diversion of resources in collusion with South Sudanese elites has contributed to ongoing instability and conflict.
  • Several individuals involved in serious corruption in Latin America, including facilitating bribes to support a major drug trafficking organisation and misappropriation that has led to citizens being deprived of vital resources for developmen