Crimea: Sanctions Risk Considerations

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On December 22, 2015, the US Treasury Department designated three Russian banks and one Crimea-based bank for operating in Crimea. The three designated Russian banks are Genbank, Krasnodar Regional Investment Bank, and Bank Verkhnevolzhsky. The Crimea-based bank is Sevastopolsky Morskoy Bank.

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Crimea: Sanctions Risk Considerations

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On July 30, 2015, The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an advisory highlighting practices used to circumvent or evade US sanctions involving Crimea. The guidance follows a near comprehensive trade embargo imposed by the US and EU on Crimea in December 2014.

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Commercial Operations in Turkey: Assessing Exposure to Islamic State, Al Qaida, and Other Armed Groups In Iraq and Syria

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A review of Islamic State and al Qaida-related activity in Iraq and Syria provides insights on cities, banks, and business sectors in Turkey at greater risk of exposure to illicit commercial and financial transactions. Islamic State and other armed groups that control or profit from oil fields and oil trade in Syria and Iraq generate revenue from sales to Turkey-based consumers and middlemen, according to government and media reports. Turkey has also been identified as a transit point for foreign fighters and as a fundraising hub for relief operations that have been associated with al Qaida.

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US Targets Iranian Banking Outpost In Moscow

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A review of the US designation of Asia Bank provides insight on financial sector exposure to Russia-based Iran risk, particularly with respect to Iran’s demand for foreign currency.

On August 29, 2014, the US government sanctioned Iranian-owned Asia Bank for providing financial services to the Central Bank of Iran. Asia Bank, formerly known as Chemeximbank, is based in Moscow. The designation of Asia Bank marks the first time that the US has sanctioned a Russia-based financial institution under Executive Order 13622 –– which prohibits certain financial dealings with Iran.

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Social Media & Illicit Finance: A Look at the Conflict in Syria

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Financial facilitators are increasing their use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to raise funds for designated terrorist organizations and other militant groups operating in conflict zones. Financial institutions should consider whether their financial intelligence and analytical capabilities are fashioned to effectively monitor social media for data relevant to AML/CFT risk management.

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