• Gutovska & Partners

Assets of persons linked to the Russian aggression will be frozen as part of Operation Oscar

Operation Oscar is a special operation which was initiated by Europol’s European Financial and Economic Crime Centre after the beginning of war in Ukraine. It has started on 11 April 2022. Europol facilitates exchange of intelligence and provides operational support in a number of financial investigations targeting criminal assets and circumvention of the EU economic sanctions related to the Russia’s military aggression towards Ukraine. The authority responsible for centralisation and analysis of information needed for the operation is Europol. Europol is responsible for identifying criminal groups and suspects, as well as new criminal trends and patterns. Financial support to the relevant national authorities is also provided by Europol. Operation Oscar will continue for at least a year.

In May 2022 European Commission has further confirmed its stance towards criminal assets, issuing a statement where it said that "freezing assets controlled by oligarchs and other individuals linked to the Russian aggression is key to disrupt the Russian war machine. To do so, it is essential to raise efforts to quickly trace and identify these assets, since they are often controlled through complex structures set up to hide the real owner of the property. Oligarchs trying to avoid the freezing of their property would opt for hiding it or siphoning it off. For example, by taking a yacht into international waters, transferring ownership of sanctioned property to a non-sanctioned third party or through shell companies. They are helped by the existing legal loopholes, as the rules on breaches of EU restrictive measures vary across Member States". Worldwide effort of European authorities and task forces active to freeze the assets of persons linked to the Russian aggression continues.

Gutovska & Partners teams of lawyers and operatives are gathering information related to possible connection to Russian agression by both Russian and other persons and entities.

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