North Korea’s sanctions evasion points way for Russians to bypass the west

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Tom Keatinge, director of the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at the RUSI, said that Chinese banks were already weighing up the risk of processing Russia-linked transactions on a case-by-case basis. “Transactions being rejected at the western branches of Chinese banks on compliance grounds then get processed in Shanghai if they are deemed to be strategically important for China,” he said. “China could well become a clearing house for Russian transactions, and there are lots of interesting tricks that can be used — whether the Mexican ‘black peso market’ model for cross-border drug financing or the age-old hawala method of using brokers to facilitate transactions without money changing hands,” said Keatinge.