Singapore firm and director blacklisted by US for links to network supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine

The US Treasury said that Asia Trading & Construction was a shell company of the Zimenkov network, which has been supporting Russia's war in Ukraine. - AFP

SINGAPORE, Feb 4 (The Straits Times/ANN): A Singapore company and its Singaporean director have been blacklisted by the United States Department of the Treasury for links to a network that evaded sanctions to support Russia’s military-industrial complex.

Asia Trading and Construction, and its 65-year-old director, Ms Serena Ng Bee Lin, were identified as having sold helicopters to an unidentified Latin American government on behalf of Russian state-owned corporation Rostec.

In a press release on Wednesday, the US Treasury said the Singapore company was a shell company that is part of the Zimenkov network.

The network is believed to be led by Russian arms dealer Igor Vladimirovich Zimenkov, who has been supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine.

He is also said to work closely with his son Jonatan Zimenkov, and the duo have been involved in deals for Russian cyber security and helicopter sales abroad.

Business records of Asia Trading and Construction show that it was incorporated here in January 2014 with a paid-up capital of $1.

Its principal activities are listed as the wholesale of goods and general construction.

The company’s address is registered to an office in Peck Seah Street, and its previous name was Five Star Resort.

Ms Ng was appointed as director in June 2016.

The US’ latest sanctions were made against 22 individuals and entities across multiple countries and related to the Zimenkov network.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said targeting proxies that circumvent its sanctions is one of many steps taken to tighten sanctions’ enforcement against Russia’s defence sector and its supporters.

“Russia’s desperate attempts to utilise proxies to circumvent US sanctions demonstrate that sanctions have made it much harder and costlier for Russia’s military-industrial complex to resupply Putin’s war machine,” he added.

Over the last year, the US has sanctioned over 100 individuals and entities engaging in activity to circumvent international sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia.

Another company that was blacklisted on Wednesday by the US is Israeli-based Texel F.C.G. Technology 2100, which made extensive fund transfers to Asia Trading & Construction.

Texel’s chief executive Marks Blats, a Latvian citizen, was also blacklisted, and identified by the US as a “high-level Zimenkov network associate”.

The US sanctions mean that all property and interests in property of the sanctioned persons that are in the US or in the possession or control of US persons are blocked and must be reported to the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Entities that are 50 per cent or more owned directly or indirectly by any of the blacklisted persons are also to be blocked.

The Straits Times has contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , Firm , Blacklisted , Aiding War , Ukraine


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