LONDON, UK: Britain has implemented sanctions targeting 29 individuals and entities within Russia's gold and oil sectors as part of its efforts to disrupt Kremlin financing associated with the conflict in Ukraine.
Two of Russia's major gold producers, Nord Gold Plc and Highland Gold Mining Ltd, face sanctions. Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) warned financial institutions about Russian attempts to employ gold to evade sanctions.
Nord Gold Plc and Highland Gold Mining Ltd have yet to respond to requests for comments regarding the sanctions.
Additionally, the sanctions cover a UAE-based network that the UK claims has funneled over US$300 million in gold revenues to Russia. The list of sanctioned individuals includes businessmen Vladislav Sviblov and Konstantin Strukov.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stated, "Today's sanctions will hit those who have provided succor to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin by helping him to lessen the impact of our sanctions on Russian gold and oil two critical sources of revenue for the Russian war machine."
The NCA has released an alert in the hope that it will put banks and traders in the UK, a significant hub for precious metal trading, on high alert. This would enable them to identify and prevent any Russian attempts to launder sanctioned gold by concealing its origin.
Adrian Searle, director of the National Economic Crime Centre at the NCA, explained, "This alert will aid efforts, in partnership with the regulated sector, including the banks and high-value dealers, to ensure that sanctioned individuals or those who represent them cannot use gold to circumvent UK sanctions."
Furthermore, Britain has imposed sanctions on energy trading firm Paramount Energy & Commodities DMCC, citing its opaque ownership structures being exploited by Russia to mitigate the impact of G7's oil-related sanctions. Paramount Energy & Commodities DMCC has not responded to requests for comments.