Letters of credit (L/Cs) used by individuals and entities in Egypt affiliated with terrorist groups can now be frozen after the Council of Ministers approved draft amendments to legislation on terrorist financing.

The aim of the amendments is to strengthen the country's counter terrorism and terrorism financing measures.

Right to freeze

Legislation introduced in 2015 allowed the authorities to freeze and seize the funds of such individuals and entities when used in a terrorist activity only.

The new amendments give prosecutors the right to freeze all of the funds defendants own, regardless of whether or not they were used for the purposes of terrorism or terrorist financing.

Legislative scope

Funds or other assets owned solely or jointly or controlled directly or indirectly by an individual or entity, as well as the returns generated from these assets, and the funds or assets of those individuals or entities acting on their behalf can now be frozen.

So can funds and other financial assets and economic resources, including oil and other natural resources and properties of any kind, regardless of how an individual or entity obtained them.

Frozen assets

As well as L/Cs, digital and electronic national or foreign currencies, securities and negotiable instruments, and all rights attached, including bank credits, checks and travellers checks can be frozen.

So can any interests, profits or income sources generated from these funds or assets, or any other assets that may be used to obtain financing, products or services can also be frozen.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.