Cryptocurrency companies in Dubai are subject to billions of dollars in liquidation requests from Russians seeking a financial haven for their wealth, with some wealthy Russians buying real estate in the United Arab Emirates, while others want to attract money to invest. in other places.
A crypto firm was inundated with requests from Swiss brokers to liquidate $2 billion and more of holdings and this said: “We’ve had about five or six in the last two weeks and one of the execs said, ‘They lost on last minute, and that’s not the case. Rarely, but we’ve never had that much interest,” he said, adding that they had an order from a Swiss broker to sell 125,000 bitcoins ($6 billion) to a client.
The Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) also said that the coins are subject to the same sanctions and restrictions as other financial sources owned by sanctioned individuals.
Dubai’s current position on the joint Russian-Ukrainian conflict that started on February 24, 2022 is neutral, indicating that Russian money is safe in Dubai, an attractive place for the rich.
“We have seen many Russians and even Belarusians coming to Dubai and bringing whatever they can bring, even in cryptocurrencies,” said a real estate broker.
Trading platforms to escape sanctions
A source told Reuters that the Russians are using cryptocurrencies to buy real estate in Dubai to move their assets out of the sanctioned states.
Western concern over Dubai’s impartiality
Three Western diplomats said they were increasingly concerned about the number of Russians seeking financial asylum in the United Arab Emirates, citing concerns that some might act on behalf of those under sanctions.
Another hoped that the UAE would deal with the potential damage to its reputation and take tougher action. Dubai as a holiday destination attracted many Russian visitors and property buyers before and during the war.
They are basically trying to protect themselves from inflationary pressures against the Russian currency. “Forex optioning has been a very good outlet for managing the risks they face,” says Apurv Trivedi of Healy Consultants.
In March 2022, the UAE Financial Action Task Force was placed on a “grey list”, joining the countries that would come under increased scrutiny by the regulator for financial crimes and the possibility of money laundering.