12° Nicosia,
17 June, 2024

US sanctions Cyprus-based entity for Russian sanctions evasion

Cypriot company among targets for operating in financial services sector of Russian economy

Newsroom / CNA

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions on Monday against thirteen entities and two individuals, including one based in Cyprus, for their involvement in the financial services and technology sectors of the Russian Federation economy. These sanctions target entities developing or providing services in virtual assets that facilitate the evasion of U.S. sanctions.

According to a press release from the US Department of the Treasury's Office, five entities were designated for their ownership or control by OFAC-designated individuals. Many of the designated individuals and entities were found to have facilitated transactions or provided services that aided OFAC-designated entities in evading sanctions.

These actions build upon OFAC’s February 23, 2024, measures aimed at companies servicing Russia’s core financial infrastructure and curtailing Russia’s use of the international financial system in its conflict with Ukraine.

Among the entities sanctioned is Tokentrust Holdings Ltd., based in Cyprus, identified as the majority shareholder of Atomaiz. Tokentrust Holdings Ltd. was designated under Executive Order 14024 for its involvement in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson, emphasized the importance of these actions, stating that "Russia is increasingly turning to alternative payment mechanisms to circumvent U.S. sanctions and continue to fund its war against Ukraine." He added that the Treasury will persist in exposing and disrupting companies aiding sanctioned Russian financial institutions in reconnecting to the global financial system.

Furthermore, it was highlighted that on February 24, 2024, the G7 Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to intensify efforts against the evasion and circumvention of G7 sanctions and export control measures.

The entities designated by OFAC on Monday were found to have been involved in building or operating blockchain-based services for the Russian financial sector or enabling virtual currency payments within Russia. These actions were deemed as enabling potential sanctions evasion.

Cyprus  |  business  |  sanctions

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