Senior US Treasury official travelling to Singapore and Malaysia to discuss sanctions

The US Treasury Department’s top sanctions official is travelling to Singapore and Malaysia to combat Washington’s efforts to combat the financing of Iran and its proxies, as well as moves to circumvent sanctions on Russia, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The unnamed source suggested that there has been an increase in money travelling through the Malaysian financial system to Iran and its proxies, including Hamas.

Brian Nelson, US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, is expected to address US concerns and the sanctions risk posed by such activities. Neil MacBride, the Treasury’s general counsel, will also take part in the visit.

As the United States seeks to increase pressure on Tehran following its attack on Israel, Washington has recently imposed other sanctions targeting Iran, including Iranian drones used by Russia in the war in Ukraine.

While in Singapore, Nelson will discuss a G7-led price cap on Russian oil, as well as halting shipments of critical dual-use goods with both civilian and military purposes, the source told Reuters.

Insurance and other maritime service providers operating in Singapore, a major maritime hub, have warned of price caps on Russian oil being breached, complaining about the difficulty of verifying the authenticity of documents showing oil purchases of US$60 or less.

The G7 price cap on Russian crude oil, introduced in December 2022, aims to reduce the revenues Russia can use for its war in Ukraine by allowing Western-supplied insurance and other services to be used only on cargoes priced below USD 60 per barrel.

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