The UK for the first time on Monday placed 22 individuals on assets freezes and travel bans for their involvement in corruptions in their respective countries. The move, according to a release issued from the British Foreign Secretary office on Monday April 26, is in line with the new Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime which gives the UK unprecedented power to stop corrupt actors profiting from the UK economy and exploiting its citizens.
“This new regime will allow the UK to combat serious corruption, in particular bribery and misappropriation. It will promote effective governance, robust democratic institutions and the rule of law – demonstrating our powers as a force for good around the world,” the release said.
The 22 individuals are said to be involved in notorious corruption cases in Russia, South Africa, South Sudan and throughout Latin America.
The release quotes Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, as saying, “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.
“Global Britain is standing up for democracy, good governance and the rule of law. We are saying to those involved in serious corruption: we will not tolerate you or your dirty money in our country.”
“Measures are deliberately targeted, so the UK can impose sanctions on corrupt individuals and their enablers, rather than entire nations,” it added.
The move is also being taken partly in line with the US, which simultaneously announced further corruption sanctions. The British Foreign Secretary release also noted that acting together sends the clearest possible signal that corruption comes with a heavy price.
“Corruption hurts individuals and undermines global trade, development and the rule of law. Over 2% of global GDP is lost to corruption every year, and corruption increases the cost of doing business for individual companies by as much as 10%.
Corruption also threatens our national security by exacerbating conflict and facilitating serious and organised crime, creating space for terrorist and criminal groups like Daesh and Boko Haram to operate, the release added.