FCO: Dictators Offshore Assests Under Scrutiny

FCO: DICTATORS OFFSHORE ASSETS UNDER SCRUTINY

The North Africa Section of the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has responded to a query from the Celtic League about the freezing of the assets of deposed leaders of Tunisia and Egypt which may be held in offshore bank accounts in British dependencies.

In February the League asked:

“Can you advise if the United Kingdom government will ensure that bank accounts held in British overseas territories and crown dependencies will be subject to scrutiny not only in relation to Egyptian linked accounts but also those of the leader and associates of the deposed Tunisian regime?”

The FCO say action has been taken (see below):

“Thank you for your letter of 15 February to the Foreign Secretary about asset freezing. I have been asked to reply.

In response to a request from the Egyptian government, EU Foreign Ministers agreed on 21 March to freeze the assets of a 19 named persons, including the former President Mubarak and members of his family. These measures entered into force on 22 March across the EU. The UK has been at the forefront of arguments
within the EU to take action on Egyptian requests, and welcomes this development.

Followed a request from the Tunisian authorities, EU Foreign Ministers agreed to the adoption on 4 February of a Council Regulation imposing an asset freeze against persons identified by the Council as being `responsible for the misappropriation of Tunisian State funds’. The Regulation targets a list of 48
named persons, including former Tunisian president Ben Ali and his wife.

In both cases the asset freeze has been brought into effect in the Crown Dependencies.

The measures, in respect of Tunisia, were given direct effect in the Overseas Territories by secondary legislation on 18 March. FCO Officials, having notified the Overseas Territories of the adoption of measures in respect of the situation in Egypt, will be preparing the necessary implementing legislation in due
course.

It should also be noted that the Overseas Territories are committed to meeting international standards and playing a responsible role in international financial markets. We are of course encouraging the UK’s Overseas Territories to take action in response to Egyptian requests.

Yours Sincerely”

Related link on Celtic News here:

https://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/message/3583

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

10/04/11

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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