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Banks with Crypto Exposure Should Act to Mitigate Risk of Russia Sanctions Evasion – Experts

Thomson Reuters' Regulatory Intelligence

08 Mar 2022

John Smith was featured in the Thomson Reuters’ Regulatory Intelligence coverage of Russia’s potential to use cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions unleashed by the United States and its allies over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and how banks with crypto exposure should scrutinize new account openings tied to high-risk jurisdictions and focus on due diligence in transaction patterns.

The concern over the potential for crypto-based sanctions evasion is reason enough for financial institutions to take the risk seriously, John said during a webinar hosted by the New York chapter of the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.

“I think it’s an overblown concern,” John said. “But there is evasion risk in that area, so everyone needs to be concerned and everyone needs to recognize that because authorities will be more concerned about evasion risk in that area, the risks have increased.”

He added that financial institutions and others engaged in crypto business “will want to do the same sanctions compliance and AML procedures that they’ve had so far and they’ll also want to focus on what may be originating in Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus, to the extent that they can tell, and anything that seems different in the last couple weeks.”

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