New US sanctions target Russian banks, metals and mining sector, and third-country actors linked to sanctions evasion

In one of its most significant sanctions actions to date, the US treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated over a dozen more Russian banks and financial institutions and announced a new determination targeting Russia’s metals and mining sector. It is also imposing sanctions on 22 individuals and 83 entities.

Additionally, the US government is ramping up efforts to counter sanctions evasion around the world with the designation of over 30 third-country individuals and companies connected to Russia’s sanctions evasion efforts, including those related to arms trafficking and illicit finance.

Financial institutions

Russian banks and financial institutions now designated by OFAC include Credit Bank of Moscow, Lanta Bank, Metallinvestbank, MTS Bank, Novosibirsk Social Commercial Bank, Bank Saint-Petersburg, Bank Primorye, SDM-Bank, Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Bank Uralsib and Bank Zenit.

Russia-based financial institutions Zenit Finance,  Zenit Leasing and Zenit Factoring have also been designated for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Bank Zenit.

In conjunction with this action, OFAC has issued a Russia-related general license authorising the wind down and rejection of transactions involving certain newly designated financial institutions.

Metals and mining sector

Sanctions on individuals and entities who operate or have operated in the metals and mining sector of the Russian economy include the designation of Burevestnik Central Scientific Research Institute, Metallurg-Tulamash, TPZ-Rondol and Mtsenskprokat.

OFAC has clarified that the metals and mining sector includes any act or process of extracting, at the surface or underground, ores, coal, precious stones, or any other minerals or geological materials in Russia, or any act of procuring, processing, manufacturing, or refining such geological materials, or transporting them to, from, or within Russia.

It does not mean that all persons who operate or have operated in the Russian metals and mining sector are sanctioned.

Assisting sanctions evasion

The treasury has imposed sanctions on entities and individuals for their roles in sanctions evasion efforts.

They include Swiss-Italian businessman Walter Moretti and his network of associates and companies that have covertly procured sensitive Western technologies and equipment for Russian intelligence services and the Russian military. Moretti has been assisted by German national Markus Gerhard Mueller and Swiss nationals Ronald Eric Cosman and Bruno Koller, as well as the Switzerland-based company Swisstec.

The Switzerland-based company Tamyna meanwhile has sent numerous large wire transfers to Moretti’s company, Taerio Limited. Tamyna was designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of Moretti.

Additional information and associated links detailing the new US sanctions can be found here.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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