The UK has imposed sanctions on 22 individuals, 14 of them Russians, involved in notorious corruption cases under a new anti-corruption regime.
Individuals across South Africa, South Sudan and Latin America were also targeted with the asset freezes and travel bans.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs the UK had an important role to play in combating corruption.
He also described the country as a “honey pot” for “corrupt actors”.
The new regime means individuals “involved in some of the world’s most serious cases of corruption” will no longer be able to channel their money through UK banks or enter the country, a statement from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said.
Sanctions were imposed on people from six countries, including:
- 14 Russians involved in a massive tax fraud uncovered by the lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who later died in custody
- Three businessmen – the brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta – accused of serious corruption in South Africa
- Sudanese businessman Ashraf Seed Ahmed Hussein Ali – dubbed Al Cardinal – accused of misappropriating state assets in South Sudan
- And three individuals accused of serious corruption in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala
This is the first time the UK has imposed sanctions for international corruption.