US Treasury Targets Russian Oligarchs as Part of New to Tackle Illicit Finance

  • Richard Marley
  • May 14, 2022
  • 2 minutes read
  • 1125

Strategy imposed by the US Treasury to combat illicit finance targets Russian Obligarch as part of a new plan to limit their ability to access the financial system through shell companies covertly. 

The national strategy outlined by the US treasury released on Friday in the report plans to take on to address illicit-finance risks while undermining Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has highlighted the need to approach regulatory loopholes and escalate the fight against corruption. 

Elizabeth Rosenberg, US Treasury Assistant Secretary stated “Illicit finance is a significant security risk and nowhere is that more noticeable than in Russia’s fight against Ukraine while having the support of the Rusian corrupt elite’s” 

The Treasury further declared on Wednesday that implementing restrictions will help in restricting the ability of illicit actors such as Russian OIbigarchs to secretly access the financial system through impersonating shell companies or real-estate cash purchases. 

A number of illicit finance risks consisting of drug trafficking, fraud and cybercrime were paid attention to in the report released by the Treasury in March. These illicit frauds were considered to generate the largest amount of illegal proceeds at that time. Emerging risks of the abuse of cryptocurrencies and rising domestic extremism were also identified. 

The Biden administration while pointing toward the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a prime example of how corruption destabilizes nations and poses a threat to the US interests proclaimed that fighting corruption should be the core national priority of countries. New measures were announced by the administration on May 8, prohibiting the Americans from providing accounting and management consulting services to Russian companies. 

The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act, passed in early 2021, urges the Treasury to create a corporate-ownership registry that lawmakers wish will restrict the use of anonymous companies. Greater efforts of deterring AML are being pushed by the agency to execute additional scrutiny of all-cash transactions in real estate.

The Treasury has claimed that it will focus on updating regulations and improving the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies to counter illicit financing and providing constant support in scrutinizing the threats posed in dealing with new financial products and services. 

Suggested Read: US DOJ Stresses Disclosure of Beneficial Ownership Information to Curb Illicit Finance