MAS to Take Action Against Crypto Exchanges Who Bypass Russia Sanctions

MAS to Take Action Against Crypto Exchanges Who Bypass Russia Sanctions

by April 5, 2022

The financial measures that were imposed by the Singapore Government in relation to Russia applies to all financial institutions in the country, including digital payment token (DPT) service providers, according to a Parliamentary reply yesterday.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said this in response to questions whether Singapore’s regulation of cryptocurrencies and decentralised finance (DeFi) will prevent sanctioned individuals and companies from using non-traditional forms of finance to circumvent the sanctions.

The query arose in light of the financial sanctions that have been imposed against Russia in opposition to its invasion of Ukraine.

Tharman went on to add that MAS requires all financial institutions to ensure compliance with these measures, regardless of whether transactions are facilitated using traditional financial channels, or through cryptocurrency exchanges or “decentralised finance” protocols.

To guard against circumvention, these financial measures specifically prohibit DPT transactions that may be used to facilitate any prohibited activity or transaction.

In short, financial institutions will not enable sanctioned parties to use non-traditional forms of finance to bypass the measures.

MAS will take appropriate regulatory actions against financial institutions found to have breached these financial measures.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS said,

“Both licensed and exempted DPT service providers must have robust controls to avoid facilitating prohibited transactions. These include procedures to know their customers and the beneficial owners of customers, and to screen these persons and their counterparties.

 

MAS has issued a circular to DPT service providers to underscore the importance of proper implementation of these controls, and the need to be vigilant against potential circumvention of the financial measures.”

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