On May 19, the United States Treasury and its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on various entities with ties to Russia. Huriya Private FZ LLE, a company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is among the entities that have been sanctioned by OFAC. The firm has allegedly been involved in money laundering and passport procurement for Russian actors since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in 2022. As part of the sanctions, the company’s CEO, Irish national John Desmond Hanafin, has also been sanctioned. Hanafin’s Tether (USDT) address, 0x38735f03b30FbC022DdD06ABED01F0Ca823C6a94, has also been sanctioned. According to reports from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, the address has received over $4.95 million in stablecoin transactions.
OFAC Sanctions Hundreds of Other Individuals and Entities
OFAC has also sanctioned hundreds of other individuals and entities to disrupt Russia’s export control evasions, military finances, and energy revenues. This is not the first time that the US Treasury and OFAC have taken action against crypto addresses and cryptocurrency companies related to Russia. In September 2022, OFAC sanctioned several crypto addresses linked to Task Force Rusich. In April 2022, it sanctioned the crypto mining firm BitRiver, as well as the Russian darknet market Hydra, which relied on Bitcoin transactions. In February 2023, the agency sanctioned Bitcoin and Ethereum addresses tied to Russian arms dealer Igor Zimenkov and his son, Jonatan Zimenkov. The agency has also sanctioned numerous actors in other countries, including North Korea and China, as well as the decentralized cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash.
Impact of Sanctions on Crypto Industry
The sanctions imposed by OFAC on Huriya Private and Hanafin’s Tether address highlight the potential impact of sanctions on the crypto industry. The use of cryptocurrency has made it easier for actors to evade sanctions and move funds around the world. However, the US government has taken a proactive approach to regulating the use of cryptocurrency and has made it clear that it will use sanctions to target those who use cryptocurrency to evade sanctions.
The US Treasury and OFAC have taken another step in their efforts to disrupt Russia’s export control evasions, military finances, and energy revenues by imposing sanctions on various entities with ties to Russia. The sanctions imposed on Huriya Private and Hanafin’s Tether address highlight the potential impact of sanctions on the crypto industry. The US government has made it clear that it will use sanctions to target those who use cryptocurrency to evade sanctions.