Entity based in Cyprus on new Russia-related US sanctions list

One of the 13 entities and two individuals most recently sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) include one based in Cyprus.

The list includes Tokentrust Holdings Ltd., based in Cyprus, which is the majority shareholder of Atomaiz and was designated pursuant to E.O. 14024 for operating or having operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy. 

The companies and individuals have been sanctioned for operating in the financial services and technology sectors of the Russian Federation economy including persons developing or offering services in virtual assets that enable the evasion of US sanctions, a relevant press release says.

According to the press release by the US Department of the Treasury's Office says that five entities were designated for being owned or controlled by OFAC-designated persons.

It adds that many of the individuals and entities designated facilitated transactions or offered other services that helped OFAC-designated entities evade sanctions. These designations build upon OFAC’s 23 February, 2024 action to target companies servicing Russia’s core financial infrastructure and curtail Russia’s use of the international financial system to further its war against Ukraine, it notes.

“Russia is increasingly turning to alternative payment mechanisms to circumvent U.S. sanctions and continue to fund its war against Ukraine,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson adding that "Treasury will continue to expose and disrupt the companies that seek to help sanctioned Russian financial institutions reconnect to the global financial system.”

It is noted that on 24 February, 2024, the G7 Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to step up efforts against the evasion and circumvention of G7 sanctions and export control measures.

The companies designated by OFAC on 26 March have all either helped build or operate blockchain-based services for, or enabled virtual currency payments in, the Russian financial sector, thus enabling potential sanctions evasion, it says.

(Source: CNA)

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