Global Watchdog Targets Russian Money Flows to Amplify Sanctions

The issue of money from Russia was a major concern raised by member states at the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force’s plenary this week

A sign displays foreign currency exchange rates to the Russian ruble at an exchange bureau in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.
By Zainab Fattah and Ben Bartenstein
March 04, 2022 | 08:11 AM

Bloomberg — A global financial watchdog is discussing a coordinated approach to trace Russian money flows into several nations in an effort to curb sanctions evasion, people familiar with the matter said.

The issue of money from Russia was a major concern raised by member states at the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force’s plenary this week, said the people, who requested anonymity as the matter is private. Efforts are underway to coordinate across the body to address the matter in a comprehensive way.

The FATF has been talking about priority jurisdictions that will receive additional scrutiny to ensure Russian capital isn’t able to evade recent penalties, the people said.

PUBLICIDAD

A spokesperson for FATF declined to comment.

An inter-governmental body that sets standards on anti-money laundering, FATF was created by the Group of Seven nations at a summit in 1989 and is tasked with protecting their financial systems from criminal activity.

Its membership includes many of the world’s largest developed economies as well as a number of developing nations. The organization already has working groups focused on beneficial ownership, environmental crime and a myriad of other issues.

The FATF discussions come as the U.S., U.K., European Union and Asian countries have ramped up sanctions against Russia in an effort to isolate its economy after initial penalties failed to persuade President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his forces from Ukraine.

PUBLICIDAD

The U.S. banned people and companies from doing business with the central bank of Russia and excluded some Russian lenders from the SWIFT messaging system, used for trillions of dollars worth of transactions around the world, in coordination with European allies.

Washington also issued full blocking sanctions on eight tycoons and their family members and sanctioned seven Russian entities that control media outlets as well as 26 individuals who work at those outlets.

Moscow has retaliated by banning airlines from 36 nations from its airspace and ordered economic counter measures, including restrictions on residents transferring foreign currency abroad.

Also read: