US authorities target funny Irish businessman smuggling pports for wealthy Russians

Ambador, footballer’s agent, cryptocurrency investor John Desmond Hanafin, 48-year-old Irish businessman, claims several suits. The US Treasury has just carved out a new one.

In a note published on Friday May 19, the Office of Foreign ets Control (OFAC), the American financial control body, accuses Mr. Hanafin of having helped wealthy Russian nationals to obtain fraudulent pports to escape the sanctions imposed. in place by Europe and the United States at the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. The entrepreneur, domiciled in Dubai, would have benefited from “help from corrupt officials”details the note, which pinpoints about twenty individuals and a hundred companies suspected of having attempted “to circumvent or evade sanctions and other economic measures against Russia”.

The US Treasury also accuses the entrepreneur of helping Russian fortunes quickly transfer their financial ets to the United Arab Emirates in early 2022.

Funds paid into a cryptocurrency account

To carry out these transactions, the Irishman would have acted through his company based in the Emirates specializing in offshore finance. On its website, the firm, called Huriya Private (Arabic word, “huriya” can be translated as “freedom”), offers “a very select clientele” tailor-made investment programs to obtain Irish, Portuguese or Moldovan citizenship. Other companies based in Hong Kong and Cyprus belonging to the entrepreneur are also targeted by American sanctions.

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On the documents published by OFAC there is also a digital wallet address in the name of the multi-cap businessman. According to the data stored in memory by the blockchain, nearly 4.9 million dollars (4.6 million euros) have ped through this account in the form of cryptocurrency since January 18, 2022, the date of the first transfer.

This method of payment in digital ets has been popular with Russian nationals since the disconnection of Moscow from the Swift banking system on 1er March 2022. In a report published in April, the Russian central bank was even considering the use of digital currencies to trade with other countries.

Immediate consequence of this report: the property and interests of Mr. Hanafin located in the United States or under the control of American nationals are deemed to be blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Transactions with Mr. Hanafin by US citizens are also prohibited.

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