This is according to Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).
Delivering a statement during the Sixth Sitting of the Fourth Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) at Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola on July 21, 2022, Premier Wheatley said it was the employment of the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search (BOSS) system, which facilitated efficient information transfer about Russian affiliated holdings that led to the freezing of assets in the Virgin Islands.
He said the Governor’s Office, as the competent authority for sanctioning in the territory, has received confirmation that assets with an estimated value of more than four hundred million dollars have been frozen as of May 11, 2022.
“Separately, I am advised further that it is perceivable that information provided by BVI to other jurisdictions has contributed to the freezing of assets worth millions of dollars elsewhere.”
Dr Wheatley said although the figures of assests seized in “some of our competitive jurisdictions” are much higher, “we ought to be careful not to lose sight” of the fact that those jurisdictions are anchored more strongly on a base comprising hedge, private equity and other investment funds.
He said the consequence of this is that the imposition of a sanction on a single entity can sometimes be measured in billions of dollars.
“Overall, sums of dollars are not a proxy for commitment or effectiveness and we should be confident that we have done and have the resources to continue to do our part.”
The Premier also disclosed that so far for 2022, the Financial Investigation Agency has recorded almost 500 requests for information, inclusive of requests under the Exchange of Notes.
“Whilst all of these were not specifically related to Russian sanctions there was a noticeable increase in the number of Beneficial Ownership related requests submitted between February and April this year, 2022, undoubtedly linked to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.”