US recognises Wagner Group as transnational criminal organisation
The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Thursday declared the Wagner Group private military company a transnational criminal organisation and imposed sanctions on individuals and entities associated with it.
Source: European Pravda; US Department of the Treasury
Details: The designation of the Wagner Group as a transnational criminal organisation means freezing any US assets of the group and prohibiting US individuals and entities from providing funds, goods or services to the Wagner Group.
The decision is based on the fact that the Wagner Group members are involved in serious criminal activities, including mass executions, rapes, child abductions and physical abuse in various countries of the world, among them the Central African Republic and Mali.
The US Treasury Department also added a number of legal entities and individuals on different continents who support the activities of the Wagner Group to the sanctions list.
In particular, these are the Russian joint-stock companies Terra Tech and BARL, the Chinese Changsha Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute Co. LTD and its Luxembourg representative office, Spacety Luxembourg. They had provided the Wagner Group with space and aerial photographs for military operations in Ukraine.
Individuals in the Central African Republic, such as the Officer’s Union for International Security and its director, Aleksandr Ivanov; Sewa Security Services; Wagner’s member Valery Zakharov; and the airline company Kratol Aviation, based in the United Arab Emirates, fell under the restrictions.
In total, the sanctions apply to six individuals and 12 legal entities associated with the Wagner Group or contributing to its activities.
The Wagner Group was founded in 2014 and actively operated in a number of countries where Russia has important interests, in particular Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic and Ukraine. There, among other things, they committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.
After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Wagner Group members took part in massacres of civilians. Convicts from Russian prisons are currently being recruited into the private military company.
Back in 2017, the US added Wagner Group to the trade blacklist, and at the end of last year, it imposed new restrictions on the export of technologies for Wagner in order to further limit its capabilities due to its participation in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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