Ukrainian prosecutors said they have got a hold of a wealth of assets belonging to over-the-counter (OTC) brokers who illegally encouraged cryptocurrency purchases for users from Russia and Russia-occupied regions.
The Prosecutor General’s office announced Tuesday in a Ukrainian-language press release that the clients of those dealers were able to convert cash and non-cash funds into cryptocurrency, without paying taxes.
It is still unclear when the trades transpired or whether it was before or after Russia initiated a war in Ukraine this winter.
The authorities seized 850,000 euros, US$470,000, and 460,000 Ukrainian hryvnia i.e. around $1.67 million in total, 830 kilograms of silver, six pieces of land, and three apartments. All were the returns of illegal crypto trades, the Prosecutor General’s office mentioned. The assets, worth around $3.39 million combined, were handed over to Ukraine’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency, which is identical to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Ukrainian prosecutors also mentioned that the Local police are investigating scams, money laundering, and tax evasion charges against unidentified persons.
Ukraine’s previous encounter with illegal crypto trades
In relation to this report last year, Ukrainian law enforcement reported seizing similar amounts of money from crypto OTCs that apparently served Russians and residents of the so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republic, Ukrainian regions occupied by Russian-backed paramilitary units since 2014.
On April 28, 2021, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) reported “blocking” the work of a group that nurtured crypto trades operating Russian payment systems, which is unlawful in Ukraine. The SSU informed seizing over 800 kilograms of silver and 43 million Ukrainian hryvnias ($1.46 million), computers, phones, hard drives, and documents verifying the deals.
The group under investigation processed over 240 million Ukrainian hryvnias i.e. $8.12 million, 65 million ($2.2 million) of which were connected to money laundering, back in 2021.
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