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The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has unleashed a sweeping wave of sanctions targeting Russian industrial firms, as well as individuals and entities involved in facilitating financial transactions for Russia amidst its ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

In the list of sanctions published on Friday, there are 22 individuals and 104 entities. Among them, Elliptic, a blockchain intelligence company, identified a cryptocurrency wallet on the Ethereum blockchain. The wallet is owned by John Desmond Hanafin, a 48-year-old resident of Ireland originally from the United Arab Emirates, as confirmed by OFAC.

Since the commencement of the conflict, the blockchain records indicate that a wallet connected to his leadership role within the company has accumulated a staggering amount of over $5.2 million in the tether stablecoin (USDT).

OFAC has stated that Hanafin assisted affluent Russian individuals in acquiring passports from foreign countries and facilitating cross-border money transfers during a time when Russia was isolated from major global payment networks due to previous sanctions.

The OFAC press release reveals that Hanafin, as the CEO of Huriya Private FZE LLE, a UAE-based private equity and corporate structuring entity, played a crucial role in orchestrating the movement of funds from Russia to the UAE. Operating as an intermediary, Hanafin utilized his firm to facilitate these transactions. Notably, his efforts to establish operations in the UAE involved a collaborative partnership with Yulia Sergeeva, an employee of Aquila Capital Group, a Moscow-based investment banking firm that is also currently subjected to sanctions.

The exact purposes for which Hanafin and his company utilized cryptocurrencies remain unclear. However, according to OFAC, the designated wallet associated with Hanafin received several significant transactions, including one as high as 1,132,000 USDT, starting from February 2022. Analysis of the data on Etherscan indicates that a majority of the funds sent to the wallet originated from centralized exchanges such as Binance, Huobi, OKX, and the now-defunct FTX.

In addition, OFAC imposed sanctions on Cryptovenience and CryptAnet, which are companies under the control of Anselm Oskar Schmucki, a Swiss national.

“Schmucki controls a global network of shell companies and has had close financial relationships with an individual charged with financial crimes and a company with suspected links to Russian organized crime and money laundering,” OFAC press release said.

Cryptovenience, an Estonian entity, specializes in providing plastic cards designed for storing and using cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, CryptAnet, as per data from the Estonian business registry, is engaged in the wholesale trade of metals and metal ores.