Welcome to This Week In Compliance: GAN’s weekly news roundup, where we curate the latest stories on compliance and anti-corruption to keep you informed. This week, the Treasury Department is warning crypto firms of potential sanctions evasion. Read the full story and more news below:
Treasury Department Warns Crypto Firms of Sanctions Evasion
The U.S. Treasury Department has warned cryptocurrency firms and other financial institutions to be aware of attempts to use their platforms to evade financial sanctions as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. FINCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, issued red flags this week to help in indentifying sanctioned governments attempts to use decentralized networks to evade sanctions.
U.S. Proposes Bill to Freeze Russia’s USD 130B Gold Reserves
A bipartisan group of four U.S. senators have proposed a bill that seeks to freeze USD 130B in gold reserves that Russia could use to stave off economic collapse due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The bill, if passed, would bar U.S. citizens from selling or trading gold using Russia’s bank holdings. The value of Russia’s currency has plummeted by roughly 40% in recent weeks due to sanctions against the government.
West Moves Toward Energy Indepence, Stops Russian Oil Imports
The EU, the United States, and other countries have moved closer to energy independence and away from Russian oil imports. This week, the EU cut oil imports from russia by two-thirds and have outlined plans to achieve oil independence from Russia “well before 2030”. The U.S. has also completed banned imports of Russian oil, natural gas, and coal, while the U.K. said it would cut off Russian energy by the end of 2022.
U.S. Extends Travel Mask Mandate
The Transportation Security Administration said this week that the travel mask mandate would be extended through at least April 18, under a directive from the Biden administration. The mandate was initially set to expire after March 18, but officials have recommended the extension based on information from the Centers for Disease Control. During the extension, the CDC will revise its framework on removing the mask mandate based on COVID-19 levels, new potential variants, and other data.