Bank of Italy reports possible illegal transactions to Russia News
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Bank of Italy reports possible illegal transactions to Russia

The Bank of Italy identified over 150,000 suspicious transaction in 2023, including possible illegal transactions to Russia, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said in its 2023 annual report posted publicly on Wednesday.

The FIU annual report detailed the possibility of these illegal transactions towards Russia. The alleged transactions were monitored in the Aggregate Anti-Money Laundering Reports (SARA), and moved through third countries, ending up in Russia in an operation that potentially avoided European sanctions imposed on Russia.

According to Italian local media sources, some anomalies were identified and filed to the relevant investigative organs. These transactions towards Russia would not only demonstrate some flaws in the system of European economic sanctions but also would evidence the support of third countries to deviate from the controls the EU had set to weaken and freeze Russian economic activities.

The European Union (EU) recently issued its fourteenth package of economic sanctions against Russia on June 20. Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the EU has gradually implemented restrictions and blocks affecting the Russian economy. The most recent sanctions included denial of access to key technologies, tackling Putin’s shadow fleet and shadow banking network abroad, and restrictions on imports and exports of Russian liquified natural gas, oil and coal. Moreover, the EU issued targeted measures against individual subjects. In total, the European Council estimated it froze 24.9 billion euros of private Russian assets.

Further investigations on the matter are expected, and Italian authorities may take further action to enforce European sanctions.