Ukraine caught the Russian payment system on a circumvention of sanctions

The attempt of the Contact system to send the transfers to the Ukrainian recipients failed.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) disclosed the scheme for circumvention of sanctions, which was resorted to by one of the Russian money transfer systems to provide services on the territory of the country. As "Kommersant" has found out, it is a question of system Contact, which even until recently offered service of transfers to Ukraine on its website. This was helped by the international Tyme system, which as a result of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) revoked the license.

The SBU has established the fact of circumvention of anti-Russian sanctions prohibiting money transfers on the territory of Ukraine from one of the systems of the Russian Federation. From the message of the service it follows that the Russian payment system used for this purpose the international Tyme system. The evidence of the SBU was transferred to the NBU, and the financial regulator recently withdrew a license from Tyme. What payment system and how Tyme helped, they did not specify in the Security Service.

Ukraine imposed sanctions against Russian payment systems in October 2016. Opportunities to work in Ukraine lost the system Kolibri, Golden Crown, Unistream, Leader, Anelik and Blizko. In the spring of 2017, Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions and banned money transfers to Ukraine through foreign payment systems. In May 2018, Kiev expanded its sanctions list - Webmoney and Contact were subject to restrictions.

As Kommersant found out, transfers to Ukraine bypassing the sanctions were made by the Contact system, until recently this information was contained on its website, which is only evidenced by the saved copies in the search systems. Contact belongs to the Qiwi group. She also from 2011 to 2013 owned a financial company OMP-2013, which manages the brand of the international payment system Tyme. In March 2018, Tyme became the largest money transfer system in Ukraine and gained the status of socially significant. In Russia there is also a Tyme system with a similar logo, which calls Qiwi a partner.

At the same time, the press service of the Russian-based Tyme "Kommersant" stated that they have nothing to do with the Ukrainian one. Asked by Kommersant whether Contact carried out transfers to Ukraine through Tyme to circumvent sanctions, the Contact press service replied that this information "can not be confirmed". The press service of the Security Service of Ukraine did not respond to a request from Kommersant.

According to Kommersant's sources on the payment market, in order to circumvent Ukrainian and Russian sanctions, in addition to the Russian and Ukrainian payment systems, a player from a third country was to be involved. One of the interlocutors of Kommersant believes that the scheme could look like this: the Russian payment system "collects" payments to Ukraine, and then transfers them to a third-party payment system. She, in turn, sends them to the payment system operating in Ukraine. The latter, in case of suspicion from the NBU, could indicate the non-Russian origin of the funds.

Contact had a partnership with the Georgian money transfer system Intel Express. They started before the imposition of sanctions, when Contact had interruptions with the implementation of transfers to Ukraine related to the revocation of the license from its settlement center (at that time) - RSB 24 (Russlavbank). It was the only settlement center of the payment system registered with the NBU. To solve this problem, in 2015 Contact became a partner of Intel Express, which issued the payments collected by the Russian payment system in Ukraine.

Kommersant sources assume that Intel Express could be involved in a scheme to circumvent sanctions as a third party. Contact with representatives of the Georgian system failed. In the NBU, when asked about the possible participation in the scheme of circumvention of the ban on transfers to Ukraine from Russia, Intel Express told Kommersant that "in the event of non-compliance by payment systems with the appropriate restrictions after the warning is issued," the measures will be taken, as in the case of Tyme. " NBU warned all payment systems about inadmissibility of cooperation with payment systems, to which Ukraine applied sanctions, stressed in the NBU, as well as interaction with these payment systems through other payment systems and organizations regardless of their jurisdiction.