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MAS reminds cryptocurrency exchanges in Singapore to comply with sanctions against Russia

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SINGAPORE: Cryptocurrency exchanges licensed to operate in Singapore must comply with financial sanctions against Russia, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on Monday (Oct 31), after research found that pro-Russia groups have raised millions of dollars in crypto donations to support Moscow's war in Ukraine.In March, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, MAS introduced financial measures targeted at designated Russian banks, entities and activities in Russia, as well as fundraising activities benefiting the Russian government."These measures apply to all financial institutions in Singapore, including digital payment token service providers (DPTSP) licensed to operate in Singapore," the central bank said in response to queries from CNA.MAS did not say if it has received reports of exchanges operating in Singapore being used to donate cryptocurrency to pro-Russia groups, but stressed that DPTSPs must have "robust controls" to avoid dealing with sanctioned banks and prohibited activities."For instance, DPTSPs have to perform customer due diligence to identify and verify the identities of their customers and the customers’ beneficial owners, and screen their customers and their transacting counterparties," a spokesperson said."DPTSPs are also required to have robust ongoing monitoring to detect potential attempts to evade the prohibitions, for example, identifying transactions that have used technologies with anonymity features (such as mixers and tumblers) to obfuscate the identities of counterparties."Singapore has welcomed the adoption of cryptocurrencies as they play a supporting role in the broader digital asset ecosystem, but it has tightened regulations after calling the trading of these assets "highly

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