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Treasury: Russia war bolsters need to combat illicit finance



The Treasury Department laid out suggestions Friday for tightening legal guidelines to protect towards cash laundering and illicit threats to the U.S. monetary system, citing the conduct of Russians backing the invasion of Ukraine as proof of how loopholes are being exploited.

Treasury’s 32-page technique doc outlines suggestions to shut loopholes in anti-money laundering legal guidelines, fight the usage of actual property for cash laundering schemes and improve information-sharing between the federal government and personal sector monetary corporations.

“Illicit finance is a major national security threat and nowhere is that more apparent than in Russia’s war against Ukraine, supported by decades of corruption by Russian elites,” mentioned Elizabeth Rosenberg, Treasury’s assistant secretary for terrorist financing.

Sanctioned people and entities can take away figuring out info from, or just disguise, their financial institution accounts, the division mentioned. They may use cryptocurrency to a restricted diploma or disguise behind shell firms to evade monetary sanctions.

“We want to shut loopholes, work effectively with worldwide companions, and leverage new applied sciences to sort out the dangers posed by corruption, a rise in home violent extremism and the abuse of digital belongings,” Rosenberg said.

Every two years, Treasury releases a report with recommendations on how to close gaps that could facilitate terrorist and illicit finance. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “demonstrates that those seeking to undermine global security and stability are exploiting these same gaps,” the report stated.

The department pointed to the number of sanctions imposed on people and entities due to the war and the potential for sanctioned individuals to evade sanctions. Earlier this month, Treasury barred individuals in the U.S. from providing accounting, legal and consulting services to anyone located in Russia.

The U.S. has worked closely with allied governments in Europe, Asia and elsewhere to impose thousands of sanctions on Russian elites, oligarchs and banks.

Earlier this year, Treasury, the Justice Department and other agencies convened a task force known as REPO — short for Russian Elites, Proxies and Oligarchs — to work with other countries to investigate and prosecute oligarchs and individuals allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin.



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