Traders in Russian gold across the world now face prospect of US sanctions

Traders in Russian gold based anywhere in the world now face the prospect of US sanctions under the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023,which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on 29 December 2022.

Not later than 90 days after that date the president must submit to Congress a report identifying foreign persons that knowingly participated in a significant transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer (including transportation) of gold, directly or indirectly, to or from Russia or the Russian government or its central bank, even if the gold is held outside Russia.

The president must then impose blocking sanctions or travel restrictions on entities and individuals, including non-US actors.

Blocking and prohibition

The sanctions include the blocking and prohibition of all transactions in all property and interests in property of a foreign person identified as a trader in Russian gold if such property and interests in property are in the US, come within the US, or are or come within the possession or control of a US person.

A non-US person found to be a trader in Russian gold would also be refused entry into the US. Existing visas would be revoked while new applicants would be ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the US or to receive any other benefit under the US immigration and nationality legislation.

There are some exceptions to this rule, including for humanitarian efforts such as the sale of food or medicine.

Rewards for whistleblowers

On the same day as he signed the NDAA, the US president also signed into law the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Whistleblower Improvement Act, which provides broader and more generous incentives for whistleblowers than was provided for in preceding legislation.

The transnational scope of this legislation means, for example, that individuals in countries with financial or trade relations with Russia will be able to blow the whistle on the location of assets belonging to sanctioned persons and entities and help the US authorities seize those assets.

Whistleblowers who report sanctions violations or money laundering will qualify for financial rewards of between 10-30 per cent of any sanction, fine, or penalty triggered by his or her disclosures, regardless of how large a reward is paid.

The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 can be found here.

The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Whistleblower Improvement Act can be found here.



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