On February 1, 2023, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Igor Vladimirovich Zimenkov, a Russia- and Cyprus-based arms dealer, and 21 individuals and entities for their involvement in a sanctions evasion network that supports Russia’s military-industrial complex and has been used to fund the war in Ukraine. The designations resulted from efforts of the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (“REPO”) Task Force, a collaborative team of partners from around the world who share information in order to identify, freeze, and seize assets linked to sanctioned Russians.
According to OFAC, the designees include companies in Zimenkov’s network that have obtained weapons and other defense-related devices on Russia’s behalf; front companies that have funnelled money within the network to facilitate projects connected to Russian defense capabilities; and individuals who own or control these companies. Among the designees is Jonatan Zimenkov, Igor’s son, who allegedly works closely with his father to facilitate Russian defense projects, including projects involving Rosoboroneksport OAO and State Corporation Rostec, two previously sanctioned, state-owned entities that are key members of Russia’s military-industrial complex. Other designees include Asia Trading & Construction PTE Limited, a Singapore-based shell company in Zimenkov’s network, and its director Serena Bee Lin Ng, who was reportedly involved in selling helicopters to a Latin American government on Rostoc’s behalf.
These designations were imposed pursuant to Executive Order 14024, which authorizes sanctions with respect to specified harmful foreign activities of the Russian government, including activities that support the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian economy. As a result of these designations, all property and interests in property of the designees within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons. In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked, unless they are exempt or authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC.