The Cyberpolice of Ukraine reports that it has exposed a criminal group that laundered approximately $42 million in cryptocurrency. Last week, the law enforcement agency posted that three individuals have been accused of the crime and now face up to 8 years in jail.
According to the Cyberpolice, officers, in cooperation with unnamed crypto experts and with the assistance of crypto exchanges Binance, used algorithms to analyze and detect transactions potentially related to financial crimes and fraud.
Chief Oleksandr Hrynchak commented on the news:
“Because the digital currency market has a large number of financial transactions with money obtained from hacker attacks on international companies, the spread of malicious software, theft of funds from the bank accounts of foreign companies and individuals – the Department of Cyberpolice with Binance and its methodological assistance, promotes more prompt detection of those involved in such offenses.” [translated]
The criminal group was said to have been uncovered this past June with the perpetrators being active for the past two years. The pre-trial investigation in the case is said to be ongoing.
The Cyberpolice works with security research groups to combat crimes and threats related to cryptocurrencies including ransomware.
Cryptocurrency transactions have long been affiliated with illicit activity and the dark web. Thefts on poorly operated digital asset exchanges have been rampant and ransomware typically asks for payment in crypto. New rules crafted by FATF are designed to curtail this type of illegal activity as exchanges are required to track buyer and seller information similar to what a regulated bank must do.