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4 May, 2024 09:32

Ukraine bans pawnshops from accepting drones

The ban will support measures aimed at “countering the negative consequences of gambling on the Internet”
Ukraine bans pawnshops from accepting drones

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has banned banks and pawnshops from accepting goods that can be used for military purposes, particularly thermal imagers and UAVs, the press service of the financial regulator reported on Friday.

Banks and other financial institutions are now prohibited from holding transactions with individuals who submit as collateral “items that are classified as dual-use goods,” meaning those that have both civilian and military uses, according to a statement on the regulator’s website.

The ban allegedly addresses problems caused by Ukrainian army servicemen who suffer from a gambling addiction. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky introduced a set of restrictions on internet casinos on April 20 in a bid to curb gambling within the military. The measures, developed by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, include forcing online casinos to cut the amount of time and money that can be spent, as well as a ban on multiple accounts. The government electronic communications watchdog is also set to block all websites which grant illegal access to the activity.

The NBU specified that the ban, which takes effect on Saturday, was introduced to support measures aimed at “countering the negative consequences of gambling on the Internet.” The regulator explained that the purpose is to promote security and the stability of the banking system during the period of martial law, which President Vladimir Zelensky declared after the Russian special military operation was launched on February 24, 2022.

The country’s authorities have presumably registered cases where soldiers have pawned dual-purpose goods to get a loan and gambled with the money, the local media outlet “Strana” opined. “Banks do not accept such collateral in their lending, unlike pawnshops. They can evaluate the drone as a commodity and issue a cash loan against such collateral. The National Bank of Ukraine apparently wanted to be proactive and introduced a blanket ban,” a source in one of the Ukrainian banks told the media.