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US Deputy Treasury Sec.: UAE financial sector to be vigilant in addressing Russian sanctions evasion

After tough economic sanctions against Moscow were put in place, the US Deputy Treasury Secretary issued a warning to the financial sector of the United Arab Emirates to be vigilant in preventing Russian sanctions evasion.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo warned that the UAE faced the "threat of illicit financial flows" and urged "vigilance and proactive action" in addressing potential sanctions evasion during a recent state visit to the UAE.

Sec. Adeyemo praised the UAE for its "commitment to building robust systems for preventing money laundering" and safeguarding its institutions from "being used for illicit purposes" while speaking at the United Arab Emirates Banks Federation Roundtable.

The strong public-private partnership between the UAE's government and financial sector, he continued, is what made thiS possible.

Despite this dedication, the UAE, like US financial institutions, still needs to "adhere to the highest standards for due diligence," due to the threat posed by dirty money flows.

"TIn response to Russia’s unprovoked aggression, the United States and a coalition of more than 30 countries have placed a set of comprehensive sanctions on the Kremlin. Financial institutions like those you represent are our indispensable partners in this effort, implementing sanctions and ensuring the global financial system lives up to our highest commitments," he said.

To "underscore the need for your vigilance and proactive action in combating Russian sanctions evasion," Sec. Adeyemo said in a statement.

He disclosed that in order to conceal the true nature of their transactions, Russian banks had used "deceptive payment practices" and shell companies.

The Secretary cautioned that financial institutions "must be exceedingly cautious in handling any Russia-related businesses and in managing the risks associated with financial institutions that have exposure to the Russian financial system." 

He emphasized that foreign institutions should be "mindful" of OFAC's authority to target foreign individuals for providing "material support" to a sanctioned entity. He also stressed that non-US persons may also be subject to US sanctions enforcement.



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