This latest sanctions webinar draws upon recent UK Finance roundtables on building a more effective framework to structure counter proliferation financing efforts. The webinar will create a collaborative opportunity for banks and key experts to share experiences on risks and trends, in order to build a more effective framework to structure counter proliferation financing efforts and identification of sanctions evasion within the maritime sector.

The session is set against a backdrop of escalating sanctions impacting the shipping industry through the adoption of UN port entry bans, the detention of vessels complicit in sanctions evasion, and through national-level sanctions designations. Insurers, flag registries, shipping companies, financial institutions, and others involved in shipping-related transactions are increasingly subject to one or more sanctions prohibitions.

Expert input will set out how intensified UN Security Council Resolutions imposed on North Korea since 2016 have resulted in intensified scrutiny on how the circumvention of sanctions is facilitated through a variety of sophisticated evasion techniques. One such method is North Korean ship-to-ship transfers, which have been banned in all cases by the UN, whereby a North Korean vessel meets another vessel out at sea, and will transfer goods - most often the purchasing of refined petroleum and the selling of North Korean coal. The webinar will explore how the movement of cargo from one ship to another while at sea, rather than in port, takes place, as well as practical opportunities for financial sector detection across the breadth of maritime issues, including insurance, vessel-related due diligence, key typologies and red flags. 

Additionally, the webinar will look at how tools designed for North Korean maritime sanctions evasion detection may also apply to other scenarios i.e. escalating US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.

Speakers include:

  • Neil Watts is a Visiting Senior Research Associate at Project Alpha, Kings College London. He served as the Maritime Expert on the UN Panel of Experts for North Korea for five years until 2018. He investigated sanctions evasion, illicit shipments and networks, tracking suspect vessels worldwide and boarded several North Korean vessels. Neil was also responsible for monitoring North Korea's navy, which included the Sea Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) program. He co-authored seven reports for the UN Security Council.
  • Steve Osborne is a Senior Research Associate for Project Alpha. He has worked on   proliferation networks and sanctions, and the implications of Brexit for export control. He has also played a leading role in international capacity-building programmes. He has many years? experience in UK government in the area of proliferation and export control.
  • Ian Kenneth Bolton is a Senior Sanctions Manager for HSBC. Prior to this he was a British diplomat with 11 years? service. During this time, as well as serving overseas, Ian focussed on Counter-Proliferation policy, including the enforcement of sanctions and interdictions. His last role within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office saw him help to write the UK's keynote sanctions legislation in response to Brexit, the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. Ian has also worked for Project Alpha at Kings College London. As well as his role for HSBC, Ian is also currently a Visiting Research Fellow in Sanctions at King's College London.
  • Oliver Oldfield - Head of Enhanced Due Diligence for ICBC. Since 2017, Oliver has headed up the Enhanced Due Diligence team in Financial Crime Compliance at ICBC Standard Bank, the financial markets and commodities bank. Prior to that, he spent over 10 years in Deloitte's Forensic department working in its Business Intelligence Services team, where he specialised in conducting and managing Integrity Due Diligence projects.
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