The United Arab Emirates has become a key trade hub for Russian gold since Western sanctions over Ukraine cut Russia’s more traditional export routes, Russian customs records show.
The records, which contain details of nearly a thousand gold shipments between Feb. 24, 2022 and March 3 this year, reveal the names of over 100 non-Russian companies that have handled Russian gold since Western markets banned imports from Moscow.
The shipments in the records,supplied to Reuters by a commercial provider, may not cover all exports in the period.
In many cases, the records show only shippers or traders involved in the transaction, not the end buyer, which could be a refiner, jeweller or investor.
Following are details of some of the companies that have been involved:
According to the customs records, a handful of Russian shipments arrived in London after the Ukraine war started, but before Western import bans kicked in.
U.S. bank JPMorgan was sent 72.4 kg of gold worth $4.5 million in shipments in March and April last year while Swedish security firm Loomis was sent of 97.4 kg worth $5.9 million during March, May and June.
Both companies operate precious metals vaults in London.
The customs records for the shipments to JPMorgan and some of those to Loomis named French bank Societe Generale as the recipient.
A source close to Societe Generale said while the bank cannot comment on specific client matters, any transactions of such a nature were debt settlements arranged prior to the war in Ukraine and would contain gold bars made before March 7, 2022, when the London Bullion Market Association banned Russian gold.
A spokesperson for JPMorgan declined to comment.
Loomis said it does not conduct business with any sanctioned parties or sanctioned goods and does not buy or take ownership of goods, only transports them for clients.