The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has warned Russia could turn to cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions imposed on the country for attacking Ukraine.
Him Das, director of the agency, has stated:
"Although we have not seen widespread evasion of our sanctions using methods such as cryptocurrency, prompt reporting of suspicious activity contributes to our national security and our efforts to support Ukraine and its people."
The agency has reminded companies they should monitor compliance with the imposed restrictions. Das added:
"In the face of mounting economic pressure on Russia, it is vitally important for US financial institutions to be vigilant about potential Russian sanctions evasion, including by both state actors and oligarchs."
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FinCEN does not expect cryptos to be used to conduct large-scale transactions, however, the agency believes there will be attempts to use wallets and other services by Russian or Belarusian entities.
FinCEN has reminded crypto companies of the need to identify and report suspicious activity. Relevant information will be passed on to the US Department of Justice, international partners and working groups set up to track and freeze the assets of Russian elites.
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