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US$7.3 billion Russian assets frozen

Law Enforcement 08 Apr, 2022 Follow News

US$7.3 billion Russian assets frozen

With more than 800 asset freeze designations enforced in Cayman of entities and individuals since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, government have set up a task force to deal with sanctions implemented by the UK Government on Russian entities. The task force includes representatives from a wide section of industry because the sanctions impact the work of multiple agencies throughout government, and is comprised of the Governor’s Office, the Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce, CIMA, the FRA, the CAA, The MACI, the General Registry, the Land Registry, the CBC, the Cayman islands Bureau of Financial Investigations and the Cabinet Office.

Governor Martyn Roper and the Attorney General Samuel Bulgin said that the mission of the cross-government team was “further confirmation of Cayman’s pro-active response to the sanctions initiatives.”

The task force’s main role is to provide centralised discussions and decisions around policy and communications arising from the ongoing sanctions and its chaired by the Director of the Financial Reporting Authority, RJ Berry, with the Cabinet Office, as task force coordinator, facilitating and coordinating inter-agency cooperation, policy, and communications. The task force meets on a weekly basis to review development and determine actions that need to be taken by each agency, domestically and internationally.

Highlighting the scale of impact that the sanctions are having on Cayman’s financial services industry, numerous financial services providers have already submitted over 400 Compliance Reporting forms confirming that assets with an estimated value of US$7.3 billion have been frozen, in compliance with their obligations under The Russia (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2020,

FRA Director Mr. Berry said: “The level of reporting to date is indicative that financial services providers are able to identify funds or economic resources owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by designated persons and are freezing those assets or economic resources. The relevant agencies within the Cayman Islands also have a long-standing track record of responsiveness and cooperation with international counterparts, and will continue to maintain that record in our approach to the Russia Sanctions.”

Further regulations expected

The recent amendments to The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations are expected to be extended to the Cayman Islands via The Russia (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2022, to come into force on 14 April 2022. These amendments include new financial, trade, and maritime measures, and restrict specified financial services with the Russian Central Bank and other Russian Federation agencies. Sanction measures apply in the Cayman Islands in the same way they do in the UK.

Premier Wayne Panton said the establishment of the task force demonstrated the Cayman Islands’ proactive approach to compliance with international sanctions.

“Collaboration and coordination between our public service entities has resulted in swift, unequivocal action,” he confirmed. “Our commitment to robust regulations in the Cayman Islands financial services sector has ensured that we are able to contribute to international peacekeeping, global security, and good governance.”

The Cayman Islands is monitoring the global situation and will continue to issue sanctions updates primarily via the FRA and CIMA circulation lists and websites as advised by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

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