U.S. warns banks to watch for ousted Ukraine leader moving looted funds

Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:03am EST

A woman takes photos of a ''Wanted'' notice for fugitive Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, plastered on the window of a car used as a barricade, near Kiev's Independent Square February 24, 2014. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

A woman takes photos of a ''Wanted'' notice for fugitive Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich, plastered on the window of a car used as a barricade, near Kiev's Independent Square February 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis

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(Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury warned banks on Tuesday to be on the look-out for potentially suspicious transfers of financial assets by Ukraine's fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich or members of his inner circle.

Yanukovich is on the run after being toppled by bloody street protests in which police snipers killed demonstrators.

An advisory from the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said that U.S. financial institutions "should be aware of the possible impact that public reports of high-level corruption by senior members of the Yanukovich administration and other illicit activity by members of the administration may have on patterns of financial activity".

FinCEN said it was reminding banks they were required to apply "enhanced scrutiny" to accounts held by Yanukovich or his circle "and to monitor transactions that could potentially represent misappropriated or diverted state assets".

Ukraine's parliament voted on Tuesday to send Yanukovich to the International Criminal Court over police violence against protesters which it said had led to the deaths of more than 100 citizens of Ukraine and other states.

The country's new leaders have appealed for urgent international aid, saying it needed $35 billion over the next two years. Acting President Oleksander Turchinov warned that Ukraine was close to default and "heading into the abyss".

(Writing by Alex Richardson; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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Comments (3)
DURO wrote:
Ukraine is ripe for the fattest cat. Is time, gentleman, lay your bids, a big pot is fair game.

Feb 26, 2014 3:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
WestFlorida wrote:
One of the reasons the Ukraine is in such debt is probably that so much state money was diverted into private hands, leaving the public with the obligation to repay.

Feb 26, 2014 8:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
Oma wrote:
@ WestFlorida

That, and the fraud and corruption that goes along with day to day business there. They need a lot more transparency and accountability. A web site that showed parliament’s day to day activity would be a good start.

According to interfax.com, 11:18 AM Feb 24, the parliament voted to spend $200,000,000 (two hundred million dollars) for a presidential poll. How can anyone spend two hundred million dollars for a poll?

I stumbled over the information on interfax.com. If we are to keep track of this type of activity, we need a special web site.

Feb 26, 2014 9:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
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