A funny Irish businessman is targeted by the American authorities, smuggling passports for rich Russians

A funny Irish businessman is targeted by the American authorities, smuggling passports for rich Russians

Ambassador, Footballer’s Agent, Crypto Investor: John Desmond Hanafin, 48-year-old Irish entrepreneur, claims several lawsuits. The US Treasury Department has just created a new one.

In a memo published on Friday, May 19, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a US financial watchdog, accused Mr. Hanafin of helping wealthy Russian citizens obtain fake passports to escape sanctions imposed by Europe and the UAE. The United States at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The businessman, who is based in Dubai, could have benefited from Helping corrupt officialsdetails the memo, which identifies 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 businessman of helping Russia’s wealth quickly transfer its financial assets to the United Arab Emirates in early 2022.

Funds are paid into the cryptocurrency account

To carry out these transactions, the Irishman had acted through his company located in the UAE and specialized in external financing. On its website, the company called it “Private Freedom” (an Arabic word, hereia can be translated as “freedom”), suggests L “a very select group of clients” Investment programs specifically designed to obtain Irish, Portuguese or Moldovan citizenship. Other companies located in Hong Kong and Cyprus that belong to the businessman are also targeted by US sanctions.

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In the documents published by OFAC, there is also a digital wallet address in the name of the multi-headed entrepreneur. According to the data stored in memory by the blockchain, approximately $4.9 million (4.6 million euros) has passed through this account in the form of cryptocurrency since January 18, 2022.

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This method of paying with digital assets has been popular with Russian citizens since Moscow’s disconnect from the Swift banking system in early March 2022. In a report published in April, Russia’s central bank was even considering using digital currencies to trade with other countries.

Immediate conclusion of this report: Mr. Hanafin’s assets and interests that are in the United States or under the control of US nationals are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. Dealing with Mr. Hanafin by US citizens is also prohibited.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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