Liberating Limits: OFAC Licenses

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) safeguards national security and helps advance U.S. foreign policy objectives by administering the U.S. sanctions regime. OFAC’s general and specific licenses serve as key mechanisms for authorizing and regulating certain transactions that would otherwise be prohibited under sanctions programs. The exceptions provided by licenses help businesses and individuals navigate international transactions without violating U.S. sanctions policies.

Stuck and Seized – Consequences of Forced Labor

Global economies are more interconnected than ever, and human rights abuses can have a profound impact on supply chains and disrupt the flow of goods. Recent deliveries of certain luxury vehicles, such as Porsches, Audis, and Bentleys have been delayed because a small component that links those vehicles with computer networks was produced by a Chinese company linked to forced labor and surveillance of Uyghur populations in China.

Russia Sanctions Evasion Case Study: Viktor Labin

When conducting customer due diligence and enhanced due diligence, simple screening for names that may be on sanctions lists is no longer sufficient given the increasing complexity of Russia’s sanctions evasion efforts and the volatile regulatory environment because of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine. Extra research is necessary to ensure compliance with sanctions laws and adherence with your company’s own risk policies. This research, however, can be complex, and structured analytic techniques and tools are necessary for effective due diligence. 

Binging Griselda? Let’s Talk Drug Trafficking Sanctions

Netflix’s new series Griselda tells the story of Griselda Blanco. Known as the “Godmother of Cocaine,” Blanco trafficked cocaine from Colombia to Miami from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Despite her criminal activities, Blanco managed to evade law enforcement for many years. There were no sanctions against Blanco at the time, since the Kingpin Act, a U.S. law aimed at combating international drug trafficking and organized crime, was enacted in 1999 after Blanco’s sentencing.  

Risky Russia – Government Agencies Warn Businesses of Possible Trouble

The US Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor in late February issued a business advisory warning firms and financial institutions about the serious legal, financial, and reputational risks of doing business in Russia. According to the State Department’s assessment, Russia’s kleptocratic environment undermines fair competition and the rule of law, exposing businesses to the risk of extortion, appropriation of assets, and US law enforcement action.

Thanks to Russia, Cross-Border Sanctions Collaboration at All-Time High

Russia’s unprovoked invasion and continued aggression in Ukraine has led to an unprecedented level of collaboration by sanctions stakeholders across jurisdictions, agencies, and sectors. IFI is publishing a series of blogs to highlight this increased collaboration. In this first blog, we take a look at cooperation across borders and most notably by the REPO Task Force and Price Cap Coalition.

Beyond The Hype: The True Role of Virtual Assets in Russia Sanctions Evasion

With the onset of stringent sanctions against Russia in 2022, US officials and financial analysts began to speculate about the potential for cryptocurrencies to serve as a means for evasion. But can virtual assets enables a nation’s efforts to evade sanctions?

Exhausting Russian Resources by Sanctioning Western Software

Despite the Kremlin’s attempts to reduce reliance on Western software for crucial systems, this transition is advancing slowly, presenting significant opportunities to hinder Russia’s military effectiveness and economic activities. Read on for more information on the current role of Western technology and guidance for governments and companies formulating sanctions proposals.

Evading Export Controls – Russia’s Key to Success

Russia has used third-party intermediaries to evade sanctions and export controls for years and has disguised the involvement of SDNs or sanctioned entities in transactions to obscure the true identities of end users. This activity has increased since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 due to Russia’s need for military equipment.

How to Avoid Becoming an Unwitting Facilitator of Russian Sanctions Evasion

What steps can organizations take to avoid becoming unwitting suppliers of critical components and tools for the Russian military?