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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

REPO task force highlights efforts taken against sanctioned Russians

Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons Department of Treasury Russia Ukraine Ukraine Invasion OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations

Financial Crimes

On March 9, the multilateral Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) Task Force released a statement on the group’s continued work one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As previously covered by InfoBytes, the U.S. Treasury Department, along with representatives from Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission, formed REPO last February to collect and share information among authorities in order “to take concrete actions, including sanctions, asset freezing, and civil and criminal asset seizure, and criminal prosecution.” REPO noted that it has, among other things, (i) blocked or frozen more than $58 billion in sanctioned Russian assets; (ii) taken collective measures to restrict sanctioned Russians’ access to the global financial system and “to investigate and counter Russian sanctions evasions, including attempts to hide or obfuscate assets, illicit cryptocurrency and money laundering schemes, illicit Russian defense procurement, and sanctioned Russians’ use of financial facilitators”; (iii) led international sanctions enforcement efforts; (iv) “[w]orked to update or expand and implement REPO members’ respective legal frameworks that enable the freezing, seizure, forfeiture and/or disposal of assets”; and (v) brought about the first forfeiture of assets of a sanction Russian as part of $5.4 million foreign assistance funds transfer to Ukraine. REPO also issued a joint Global Advisory on Russian Sanctions Evasion, intended to ensure effective sanctions implementation and compliance across member jurisdictions.