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Bush lists

The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

OFAC has published lists of specially designated nationals (SDN lists) which are referred to as "Bush Lists". Individuals and organisations mentioned on these lists have suspected connections to Usama bin Laden, the Taliban or other terrorist activity. The Swiss Money Laundering Control Authority has published a number of these lists on their website.

Type 1 lists:
These lists contain names of natural and legal persons, as well as entities susceptible of having ties to Usama Bin Laden, the Al-Qaida Group or the Taliban. Therefore these names are also submitted to the UN Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee for verification and subsequent integration into the Committee's name list. After examination, the names are usually added to the name list of the Committee. In accordance with Resolution 1267 and its successor resolutions, all UN members are then obliged to apply these sanctions with regard to the listed persons and entities.

According to the practice of the Money Laundering Control Authority, business relationships with listed persons or entities are subject to a founded suspicion in the sense of Article 9 MLA (unofficial English translation), i.e. the suspicion that the assets involved are related to money laundering, originate from a felony, or are at the disposal of a criminal organisation.

Consequently, the Money Laundering Control Authority considers the following obligations incumbent on all financial intermediaries:

  1. to inspect without delay if they maintain business relationships with persons or entities named in the lists, or if one of these persons is the beneficial owner of assets placed or deposited with them;
  2. to report such business relationships without delay to the MROS. In accordance with the AMLA prescriptions, customers in question must not be informed of the report and their assets must be frozen until the prosecuting authorities issue an injunction, but for a maximum period of five working days (Article 10 MLA).
The report to MROS must be made independently of the compulsory notification to SECO following each modification to the Annex 2 of the Ordinance on Measures Against Persons and Organisations with Ties to Usama Bin Laden, the Al-Qaida Group or the Taliban. Thus the notification to seco must be made separately.

Type 2 lists:
These lists contain names of natural and legal persons and entities susceptible of having a link to terrorist activities but that do not have ties to Usama Bin Laden, the Al-Qaida Group or to the Taliban.

Concerning type 2 lists, the Money Laundering Control Authority considers the following obligations incumbent on all financial intermediaries:

  1. to inspect whether they maintain any business relationships with persons or entities names in the lists or if one of these persons is the beneficial owner of assets placed or deposited with them;
  2. to submit such business relationships to enhanced due diligence;
  3. to report such business relationships to the MROS, in the event where the overall assessment of the business relationships gives rise to a founded suspicion in the sense of Article 9 MLA. In accordance with the MLA prescriptions, customers in question must not be informed of the report, and their assets must be frozen until the prosecuting authorities issue an injunction, but for a maximum period of five working days (Art. 10 MLA).