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The subject of Russian sanctions wealth against Ukraine can prove elusive

Sanctions imposed by Canada and other Western nations will freeze the wealth of wealthy Russians abroad if authorities can find it.

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Experts say that BC is unlikely to be the place where Russian millionaires robbed a large amount of wealth subject to sanctions against provocative invasion of Ukraine, but it will be difficult to know.

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“The Russian community is less prominent than Vancouver and other diasporas in BC,” said Adam Ross, a corporate researcher and partner at Templeton Research.

Canada joins the United States and the growing list of European countries, imposing economic sanctions aimed at punishing Russia and isolating the long list of so-called oligarchs from the global financial system.

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began in 2014 at the start of a Russian-backed invasion of eastern Ukraine to ban Canadians from providing business, real estate transactions, or financial services with listed individuals. Expanded the sanctions being implemented. As of Monday, trade with Russia, including Russia’s oil imports, has also been banned.

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But the difficulty is that the wealthier the oligarchs are, the more likely they are to have already transferred their wealth out of the major Russian banks subject to sanctions.

“I don’t know because Canada doesn’t have the infrastructure to identify the actual owner of the asset.”

BC’s Land Owner Transparency Registration, which requires an entity that owns property for the benefit of a company or trust to register a substantial owner of those entities, has a deadline of 30 November. did. Ross said it was a good start, but the oligarchs could circumvent the rule by using candidates, that is, trusted friends and associates who agree to give their property titles their names on their behalf.

“It’s very easy to identify real estate that the government owns through a company (interest), but if a close friend or colleague owns it for you, a third party will pick up a candidate for that person. It’s much harder to identify, “Ross said.

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Officials at the office of Finance Minister Selina Robinson did not answer postmedia news questions about Russian ownership of British Columbia real estate.

Peter German, a financial crime expert, chairman of the Advisory Board of the Vancouver Institute for Anti-Corruption, and former RCMP Vice-Chairman, tracks the real owners of the assets held by sanctioned persons. It will also be the job of FINTRAC, Canada’s financial trading and reporting analysis center.

“If an asset is here and an individual (owner) is sanctioned, the financial institution cannot deal with that individual,” the German said.

If Canada imposes sanctions on each country, the government submits a list of sanctioned persons to FINTRAC and the Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, which gives it to the compliance departments of Canadian banks and financial institutions. Sanctions affect ordinary Russians who need to do business through the accounts of Russian banks, which are currently off limits to most foreign financial institutions.

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“The impact will be felt by the Russian economy as a whole, and certainly by everyday people who have less influence on the policies of the Russian government than the elite,” Ross said.

However, Ross added that those in an influential position on the Russian government are likely to have already transferred their wealth abroad. And usually, the richer someone is, the harder it is to track that wealth. This is usually hidden.

Setting up a company in a jurisdiction where the company does not need to disclose its shareholders is one way. According to Ross, the legal entity can open a bank account to deal with the international financial system without having to name the individual on the money.

“The missing piece of the puzzle is that you can chase the assets of foreign elites,” Ross said.

depenner@postmedia.com

twitter.com/derrickpenner

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The subject of Russian sanctions wealth against Ukraine can prove elusive

Source link The subject of Russian sanctions wealth against Ukraine can prove elusive

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