The Office of Foreign Assets Control took sanctions action over the last week in the Russia and Burma programs:
- OFAC Sanctions Virtual Currency Money Launderer: OFAC on Nov. 3 sanctioned Ekaterina Zhdanova, a Russian national, for her role in laundering and moving funds using virtual currency on behalf of Russian elites. Zhdanova conducts virtual currency exchange transfers on behalf of oligarchs who have relocated internationally. In one instance, a Russian oligarch sought out Zhdanova to move over $100 million in wealth on their behalf to the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, Zhdanova has facilitated a United Arab Emirates tax residency service for Russian clients, and possibly participated in obfuscating their identities. Read more.
- OFAC Sanctions 130 New Russian Evasion and Military-Industrial Targets: OFAC on Nov. 2 sanctioned 130 new Russian evasion and military-industrial targets to disrupt Russia’s war on Ukraine. OFAC’s action targets Russia’s domestic industrial base, including producers, exporters, and importers of nearly all of the high-priority items identified by the international coalition imposing sanctions and export controls on Russia. Among the designees include Berk Turken, owner of Türkiye-based firms BSB Grup Internet Ve Yapay Zeka Teknolojileri Anonim Sirketi (BSB Group) and Turken Dijital Matbaa Teknolojileri Bilgisayar Bilisim Kirtasiye Fotografcilik Sanayi Ve Dis Ticaret Limited Sirketi (Turken Digital). Also designated are Luxembourg-based East West United Bank SA; Russia-based financial institutions Commercial Bank Absolut Bank PAO; Blanc Bank Limited Liability Company; Home Credit & Finance Bank Limited Liability Company; Joint Stock Company Post Bank; Publichnoe Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Kommercheski Bank Russki Regionalny Bank (Russki Regionalny Bank); Joint Stock Company Russian Regional Development Bank, and; Joint Stock Company Russian Standard Bank. Read the full list of designees. Read more.
- OFAC Issues Russia-related General Licenses: Related to OFAC’s 130 new Russian evasion and military-industrial sanctions, OFAC on Nov. 2 issued Russia-related General License 13G, “Authorizing Certain Administrative Transactions Prohibited by Directive 4 under Executive Order 14024”; Russia-related General License 74, “Authorizing the Wind Down and Rejection of Transactions Involving East-West United Bank”; Russia-related General License 75, “Authorizing Certain Transactions Related to Debt or Equity of, or Derivative Contracts Involving, Certain Entities Blocked on November 2, 2023”; and Russia-related General License 76, “Authorizing the Wind Down of Transactions Involving Certain Entities Blocked on November 2, 2023.” Read more.
- OFAC Prohibits Financial Transactions with Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise: OFAC on Oct. 31 published a new directive (effective Dec. 15, 2023) that prohibits certain financial services by U.S. persons to or for the benefit of Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). OFAC’s sanctions action seeks to degrade the regime’s ability to purchase weapons used to carry out atrocities against the people of Burma. OFAC designated three entities and five individuals connected to Burma’s military regime pursuant to Executive Order 14014. OFAC’s actions were taken in conjunction with designations by both the United Kingdom and Canada. Read more.