WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned an individual in Serbia pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14033. The designation of Aleksandar Vulin (Vulin) underscores the United States’ determination to hold accountable those engaged in corrupt dealings that further their own political agendas and personal interests at the expense of peace and stability in the Western Balkans. These corrupt dealings facilitate Russian malign activities in Serbia and the region.
“Treasury will not hesitate to target actors that abuse their positions for personal gain while undermining effective and democratic governance in the Western Balkans,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson. “Today’s action holds accountable Aleksander Vulin for his corrupt and destabilizing acts that have also facilitated Russia’s malign activities in the region.”
OFFICIAL USING HIS POSITION OF POLITICAL INFLUENCE FOR PERSONAL AND PARTY GAIN
Aleksandar Vulin (Vulin) has been implicated in transnational organized crime, illegal narcotics operations, and misuse of public office. Vulin has maintained a mutually beneficial relationship with U.S.-designated Serbian arms dealer Slobodan Tesic, helping ensure that Tesic’s illegal arms shipments can move freely across Serbia’s borders.
Vulin’s acts have advanced corruption within Serbia’s governing institutions. These acts include leveraging his authority for personal gain, including involvement in a drug trafficking ring. He has used his public positions to support Russia, facilitating Russia’s malign activities that degrade the security and stability of the Western Balkans and providing Russia a platform to further its influence in the region. Vulin is the Director of Serbia’s Security Information Agency, and previously served as Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior. These institutions are not the targets of these sanctions.
OFAC is designating Vulin pursuant to E.O. 14033 for being responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption related to the Western Balkans, including corruption by, on behalf of, or otherwise related to a government in the Western Balkans, or a current or former government official at any level of government in the Western Balkans, such as the misappropriation of public assets, expropriation of private assets for personal gain or political purposes, or bribery.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated person described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. All transactions by U.S. persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person, or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
In addition, financial institutions and other persons that engage in certain transactions or activities with the sanctioned individual may expose themselves to sanctions or be subject to an enforcement action.