How do US sanctions impact Cambodian officials?

Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim were the latest high-profile Cambodians to face the wrath of US sanctions in December. But what does this really mean in practice for the two men, and are targeted sanctions more ethical and effective than punitive trade measures like withdrawing the EU's EBA?

Christmas has just passed, and while Steven Mnuchin may not look much like Santa, he certainly has a naughty list that Cambodians Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim found their way onto on 9 December.

Like Santa, Mnuchin knows if you’ve been good or bad, but unlike Santa, Mnuchin is the 77th US Secretary of the Treasury – and if he thinks you’ve been naughty then you’ll get more than just coal in your proverbial stockings.

This year both Oknha Try and General Kim made it onto Mnuchin’s exclusive list – the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN), run by the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – which targets a broad group of reprobates ranging from human rights abusers to corrupt officials, money launderers and financiers of terrorism.

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