• The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed a new wave of sanctions against Russian industrial companies, people and entities that helped Russia move money while the country has been waging war in Ukraine.
• Among the sanctioned entities is one cryptocurrency wallet, belonging to a 48-y.o. United Arab Emirates resident from Ireland, John Desmond Hanafin. The wallet on the Ethereum blockchain has received over $5.2 million in tether stablecoin since the beginning of the war.
• OFAC alleges that Hanafin helped wealthy Russians evade sanctions and hide money in UAE by working as CEO of an UAE-based private equity and corporate structuring entity, Huriya Private FZE LLE, which acted as intermediary for moving money from Russia into the UAE.

U.S Sanctions Watchdog Targets Crypto Wallet

The U.S Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently released a new wave of sanctions against Russian industrial companies, people and entities that have been involved in helping Russia move money while it wages war in Ukraine. Included within this list was one cryptocurrency wallet linked to a 48-year old Irish national residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Irish National Allegedly Helped Wealthy Russians Evade Sanctions

John Desmond Hanafin allegedly helped wealthy Russians evade sanctions and hide money in UAE by working as CEO of an UAE-based private equity and corporate structuring entity called Huriya Private FZE LLE which acted as intermediary for moving money from Russia into the UAE according to OFAC’s press release on May 19th 2023 . The crypto wallet belonging to this individual has received over $5.2 million USDT since February 2022 with funds coming mostly from centralized exchanges such as Binance, Huobi, OKX and FTX according to data provided by Etherscan .

OFAC Also Sanction Cryptovenience & CryptAnet Companies

OFAC also levied sanctions against Swiss national Anselm Oskar Schmucki who controls a global network of shell companies and has had close financial relationships with individuals charged with financial crimes as well as companies suspectedly linked to Russian organized crime . Schmucki is associated with firms called Cryptovenience & CryptAnet which are now under OFAC sanctioning .

Purpose Of Funds Sent To Crypto Wallet Unknown

It is still unclear what purpose Hanafin used these crypto funds for but he could have used them for various activities including tax evasion or other illicit operations involving cryptocurrencies . It is important to note that individuals should always check if their investments are compliant with international laws before engaging with any commercial activity involving digital assets .

Conclusion

This news demonstrates how powerful economic sanction tools can be when it comes to cutting off access to international payment networks or freezing certain assets involved in illegal activities related to cryptocurrencies . This incident highlights how compliance rules related to digital assets need to be taken seriously especially when dealing with high risk areas such as those related to sanctioned countries where regulations can change quickly without much notice .

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