Treasury written question – answered on 28 June 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Pidding Baroness Pidding Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to monitor the sale of Truphone to ensure that it does not undermine (1) the UK's sanctions relating to Russia, or (2) the UK's national security.

Photo of Baroness Penn Baroness Penn Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Truphone Limited are not currently subject to financial sanctions.

Financial sanctions restrictions apply to any entity that is itself designated, or is owned or controlled directly or indirectly by a designated person. This includes where that person holds (directly or indirectly) more than 50% of the shares or voting rights in an entity, has the right (directly or indirectly) to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors of the entity, or it is reasonable to expect that the person would be able to ensure the affairs of the entity are conducted in accordance with the person’s wishes.

If any sanctioned individuals are due to receive funds as a result of the sale of a company which is not subject to financial sanctions restrictions, any funds they receive from a UK company or into a UK bank account will need to be frozen. A licence from the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) in HM Treasury would then be needed for any onward movement of such funds, otherwise breaches of financial sanctions restrictions may occur. Any suspected breach of financial sanctions should be reported to OFSI.

OFSI is the competent authority for implementing and enforcing the UK’s financial sanctions. The maintenance of national security is a cross-departmental effort and any activity to monitor and intervene in matters of national security may be undertaken by departments other than HMT.

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