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Freezing of terrorist assets in Australia.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER FA184 13 December 2002

FREEZING OF TERRORIST ASSETS IN AUSTRALIA

Revised arrangements for freezing terrorist assets in Australia come into force today.

UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), passed following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, obliges member states to freeze terrorist assets.

The deaths of so many young Australians in the 12 October Bali bombings are a painful reminder of the continued relevance and urgency of this obligation.

Since 15 October 2001, the Government has used a mechanism contained in the Charter of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Regulations 2001 to implement this obligation.

These Regulations are now replaced by a new Part 4 of the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945, and the Charter of the United Nations (Terrorism and Dealings with Assets) Regulations 2002.

Under the revised mechanism, anybody holding financial or other assets of persons or entities listed as terrorists by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Commonwealth Gazette is prohibited from using or dealing with those assets. It is also a criminal offence to give assets of any kinds to such persons or entities. The penalty for these offences is five years’ imprisonment.

The current list, incorporating persons and entities gazetted on 21 December 2001, 20 March 2002, 17 April 2002, 12 June 2002, 28 October 2002 (but excluding names removed from the list on 20 March 2002, 17 April 2002 and 28 October 2002) will continue to apply to the revised mechanism.

A consolidation of this list is now available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website: www.dfat.gov.au/icat/index.html.

The revised arrangements set out a procedure for people to seek Australian Federal Police assistance to help determine if there is a match between the owner of an asset and a person or entity listed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Gazette.

It also allows the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to notify holders and dealers in assets, for example financial institutions, of new additions to the list.

This revised mechanism further demonstrates the Government’s ongoing commitment to review and revise its anti-terrorism measures in the light of international developments and experience and in consultation with key stakeholders in the community.

Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 0419 206 890 Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/