The UN Security Council requires member states to work together closely in combating terrorist financing. They do so by applying the sanctions adopted by the Security Council, which are binding in international law. UN members must have procedures in place for freezing the assets of terrorists and terrorist organisations. One example is the financial sanctions which the Security Council has issued against al-Qaeda and the Taliban; these are targeted at individuals and organisations which it has listed as terrorist.
The Federal Council has implemented financial sanctions against al-Qaeda and the Taliban by adopting an ordinance based on the Embargo Act. In addition to freezing the assets of the individuals, organisations or groups concerned, the ordinance also provides for compulsory notification of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO
Switzerland also implements sanction targets through the existing structures and procedures of its anti-money laundering legislation. The Security Council’s lists of terrorist organisations are forwarded to the financial intermediaries who check the client relationships concerned with the due diligence required by the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA
). In cases in which there is suspicion is a well-founded, the financial intermediary reports the matter to the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) in accordance with the AMLA provisions. The report then triggers the freezing of the identified assets.
Latest updates and reports on financial sanctions
Financial sanctions are published on FINMA’s website. The MyFINMA
Service keeps financial intermediaries informed of the latest occurrences.