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FiveBy experts are often asked to provide insights on risk-related news, industry trends, and other sanctions and money-laundering issues.

Konstantin Malofeyev; Credit: Lous Whinston/CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Irene Kenyon, FiveBy Director of Risk Intelligence, was recently quoted in an article by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on a Cyprus firm that may have helped sanctioned Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev evade sanctions.

Malofeyev was designated in 2014 for supporting Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. But the Cypriot firm MeritServus secretly continued to work with Malofeyev’s Cyprus shell company for nearly three years after that before dropping him as a client.

Why? Did the company, which at one time was part of accounting giant, Deloitte, update its watchlists and screening systems to ensure the latest designations were captured? Probably not. Were there alerts to warn of new sanctions? Did they react to those alerts? Did they screen against the new additions? Did they bother monitoring adverse media for the latest information about their clients? Did they bother updating their sanctions risk assessments? Had they even done one? It certainly sounds like the answer to all these questions was no.

Kenyon recalled tracking Malofeev’s finances as early as 2014, while she was at the Treasury Department.

“We had information about him funneling weapons and money to separatists in eastern Ukraine. If he can access the global financial system… to transfer money to these separatists, he is funding an insurgency,” she said.

“Those who are allowing sanctioned individuals and entities to transfer money are opening a gate for these malign actors to access the global financial system and corrupt it,” Kenyon noted, saying that MeritServus may have violated sanctions when it allowed Malofeyev to transfer funds in US dollars after he was designated.

The UK newspaper, the Guardian, also published a shorter version of the story, quoting Kenyon.

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