US Sanctions Watchdog Claims Russia-Linked Crypto Wallet Processed $5 Million

OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) stated on Friday that an Irish person assisted wealthy individuals from Russia in evading sanctions and concealing their money in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In simpler terms, according to OFAC, an Irish national helped rich Russians avoid sanctions and keep their money hidden in the UAE.

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The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which is part of the U.S. Treasury Department, recently implemented a significant set of sanctions. These sanctions targeted industrial companies in Russia, as well as individuals and entities that assisted in moving money while Russia has been involved in the conflict in Ukraine. In simpler terms, the U.S. Treasury’s OFAC has imposed a large number of sanctions on Russian industrial companies, along with people and organizations that have aided Russia in financial activities during the ongoing war in Ukraine.

In the list of sanctions published on Friday, there are 22 individuals and 104 entities mentioned. One of these entities is a cryptocurrency wallet, which was initially identified by Elliptic, a blockchain intelligence company. According to OFAC, the wallet exists on the Ethereum blockchain and is associated with a 48-year-old resident of the United Arab Emirates named John Desmond Hanafin, who is originally from Ireland. In simpler terms, out of the individuals and entities mentioned in the sanctions list released on Friday, one of them is a cryptocurrency wallet. This wallet was discovered by Elliptic and operates on the Ethereum blockchain. It is linked to a 48-year-old person named John Desmond Hanafin, who resides in the United Arab Emirates and is originally from Ireland.

Based on blockchain data, a wallet connected to a company that he was in charge of received more than $5.2 million worth of the tether stablecoin (USDT) since the start of the war. In simpler terms, according to information from the blockchain, a wallet associated with a company that he was leading received over $5.2 million in the tether stablecoin (USDT) from the beginning of the war.

OFAC stated that Hanafin assisted wealthy individuals from Russia in obtaining passports from different countries and transferring money across borders. This happened at a time when Russia was unable to access major global payment networks due to previous sanctions. In simpler terms, according to OFAC, Hanafin helped rich Russians get passports from other countries and move their money across borders. This was done while Russia was facing restrictions from using important global payment systems due to earlier sanctions.

According to the press release from OFAC, as the CEO of Huriya Private FZE LLE, a company based in the UAE that focuses on private equity and corporate structuring, Hanafin aided in transferring money from Russia to the UAE. He used his firm as an intermediary for these transactions. In order to establish operations in the UAE, Hanafin collaborated with Yulia Sergeeva, who was an employee of Aquila Capital Group, an investment banking firm based in Moscow. It’s important to note that Aquila Capital Group is currently subject to sanctions as well. In simpler terms, as the CEO of Huriya Private FZE LLE, a company in the UAE, Hanafin helped move money from Russia to the UAE by using his own firm as a middleman. To set up their operations in the UAE, Hanafin and Yulia Sergeeva, who worked for Aquila Capital Group in Moscow, collaborated together. It’s worth mentioning that Aquila Capital Group is also facing sanctions.

It is uncertain what Hanafin and his company used cryptocurrencies for. The wallet mentioned by OFAC received several significant transactions since February 2022, with one transaction amounting to as much as 1,132,000 USDT. The majority of the funds sent to the wallet originated from centralized exchanges such as Binance, Huobi, OKX, and the now-defunct FTX, as indicated by the information available on Etherscan. In simpler terms, we don’t know exactly how Hanafin and his company used cryptocurrencies. However, the wallet identified by OFAC received multiple large transactions starting from February 2022, including one transaction worth 1,132,000 USDT. The majority of these funds were transferred from centralized cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance, Huobi, OKX, and the now-bankrupt FTX, according to the data provided on Etherscan.

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OFAC has imposed sanctions on two companies, Cryptovenience and CryptAnet, which are under the control of a Swiss individual named Anselm Oskar Schmucki. In simpler terms, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has placed sanctions on two companies, Cryptovenience and CryptAnet. These companies are owned and operated by a person from Switzerland named Anselm Oskar Schmucki.


According to the press release from OFAC, Schmucki oversees a worldwide network of inactive companies and has maintained significant financial connections with an individual accused of financial offenses. Additionally, he has ties to a company that is suspected of being involved in Russian organized crime and money laundering. In simpler terms, as mentioned in the press release by OFAC, Schmucki is in charge of a global network of companies that are not actively operating. He has also had significant financial dealings with an individual who is facing charges related to financial crimes. Moreover, there are suspicions of a connection between one of Schmucki’s associated companies and Russian organized crime and money laundering activities.

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Cryptovenience is a company based in Estonia that provides plastic cards designed for storing and using cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, CryptAnet, as per information from the  Estonian business registry, is involved in the wholesale trade of metals and metal ores. In simpler terms, Cryptovenience is an Estonian company that offers plastic cards specifically designed for storing and using cryptocurrencies. CryptAnet, according to records from the Estonian business registry, operates in the wholesale industry, specifically dealing with metals and metal ores.

Important: This article is intended solely for informational purposes. It should not be considered or relied upon as legal, tax, investment, financial, or any other form of advice.

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  • Asad

    Asad is a dynamic and talented cryptocurrency content author who brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to every article. With a deep understanding of blockchain technology and a passion for digital assets, Asad's writing is both informative and engaging.

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