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  • Writer's pictureOlga Nesterova

U.S. Treasury Officials to Strengthen Counterterrorism and Sanctions Diplomacy in Singapore and Malaysia

Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson, Treasury General Counsel Neil MacBride | Department of Treasury
Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson, Treasury General Counsel Neil MacBride | Department of Treasury

Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson, accompanied by Treasury General Counsel Neil MacBride, is set to embark on a crucial diplomatic mission to Singapore and Malaysia from May 6th to May 9th. The visit underscores the United States' commitment to combatting terrorism financing, disrupting illicit financial activities, and enforcing sanctions against nations such as Iran and Russia.


Treasury's primary focus during this trip will be countering terrorist financing and revenue generation by Iran and its proxies, including Hizballah, Hamas, and the Houthis.

Through imposing significant sanctions, Treasury aims to sever the financial flows that fuel instability in the Middle East. Notably, recent actions have targeted the illicit shipment of Iranian oil to buyers in East Asia, with a particular emphasis on ship-to-ship transfers near Singapore and Malaysia.


In Malaysia, Under Secretary Nelson and General Counsel MacBride will engage in discussions regarding efforts to disrupt terrorist financing, combat fraudulent charities, and tackle illicit oil sales. They will emphasize the importance of preventing U.S. sanctions from hindering humanitarian aid to Gaza while also meeting with the financial sector to enhance compliance and enforcement measures.


Meanwhile, in Singapore, Treasury officials will continue coordination with the government on sanctions and export controls against Russia in response to its aggression in Ukraine. This includes enforcing a price cap on Russian oil and curtailing Russian transshipment of critical dual-use goods. Meetings with business representatives from the financial and maritime sectors will focus on strengthening compliance and enforcement efforts to reduce Russian revenue from oil sales and mitigate risks associated with Russian-linked providers.


Additionally, the visit will address efforts to disrupt revenue generation by North Korea, particularly through cybercrime and the use of virtual assets. Discussions will revolve around enhancing global implementation of Financial Action Task Force standards related to virtual asset service providers to prevent illicit actors from exploiting the international financial system.


The trip underscores the United States' multifaceted approach to combating terrorism financing, disrupting illicit financial activities, and enforcing sanctions globally. By engaging closely with partners in Singapore and Malaysia, Treasury aims to bolster international cooperation in safeguarding the integrity of the financial system and promoting stability in the region.


Source: U.S. Department of Treasury

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