On April 15, 2021, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 16 individuals and 16 entities for “attempting to undermine and influence the 2020 US presidential election,” blockchain security firm CipherTrace noted in a blog post.
CipherTrace also mentioned that the sanctions list reportedly includes Russian officials, proxies, and intelligence agencies “linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA)—a Russian ‘troll farm’ known to use cryptocurrency to fund influence operations around the world on behalf of Russian political interests.”
CipherTrace pointed out that three of these sanctioned entities and one sanctioned individual were “listed in OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons (SDN) List with associated digital currency addresses: the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation, SecondEye Solution, SouthFront, and Mujtaba Ali Raza.”
CipherTrrace added that many of these sanctioned addresses are “attributed to deposit addresses at regulated exchanges, including two popular off-shore exchanges and one US-based exchange.”
CipherTrace further noted that “at the behest” of Yevgeniy Prigozhin, Russian financier of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation (AFRIC) “facilitate malign operations in Africa and Europe while primarily operating out of Russia.”
According to OFAC, “despite posing as an African-led initiative, AFRIC actually operations are to promote and disseminate Russian disinformation campaigns,” CipherTrace noted.
The company went on to share the following details:
Russia; Email Address [email protected]; [UKRAINE-EO13661] [CYBER2] [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: PRIGOZHIN, Yevgeniy Viktorovich).
Digital Currency Address – ZEC t1MMXtBrSp1XG38Lx9cePcNUCJj5vdWfUWL;
Digital Currency Address – DASH XyARKoupuArYtToA2S6yMdnoquDCDaBsaT
CipherTrace pointed out that Second Eye Solution (SES) is a Pakistan-based organization that creates and sells “fraudulent” digital photographs of fake documents, including passports, driver’s licenses, bank statements, utility bills, and national identity documents.
OFAC alleges that SES has “assisted the IRA in concealing its identity to evade sanctions through the creation of 15 fraudulent US driver licenses images,” CipherTrace revealed while adding that these fraudulent documents were “paid for in cryptocurrency.”
The crypto intelligence firm also shared further details:
Karachi, Pakistan; Website secondeyesolution.su; alt. Website secondeyesolution.ch; alt. Website secondeyesolution.ru; alt. Website secondeyesolution.com; alt. Website forwarderz.com; alt. Website secondeyehost.com; Email Address [email protected]; alt. Email Address [email protected]; alt. Email Address [email protected]; alt. Email Address [email protected]; alt. Email Address [email protected]; alt. Email Address [email protected]; [CYBER2] [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC).
As noted by CipherTrace, SouthFront is an online disinformation site “registered in Russia that receives taskings from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).” While SouthFront “is vague about where its administrators operate, its web content clearly attempts to appeal to US military enthusiasts, veterans, and conspiracy theorists. The site is still operational and accepts donations in cryptocurrency,” CipherTrace added.
CipherTrace also shared the following information:
Russia; Website southfront.org; Organization Type: News agency activities; [NPWMD] [CYBER2] [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: FEDERAL SECURITY SERVICE).
Digital Currency Address – XBT 3Gbs4rjcVUtQd8p3CiFUCxPLZwRqurezRZ;
Digital Currency Address – ETH 0x9f4cda013e354b8fc285bf4b9a60460cee7f7ea9;
Digital Currency Address – BCH qpf2cphc5dkuclkqur7lhj2yuqq9pk3hmukle77vhq
While sharing additional details about the entities “attempting to undermine and influence the 2020 US presidential election,” CipherTrace noted:
Mujtaba Raza is a Pakistani National and owners and, “as operator of Second Eye Solution, instrumental in processing payment for fraudulent identities for the IRA. SES profits were then laundered through four Pakistani front companies—Fresh Air Farm House, Like Wise, and MK Softtech—also operated by Raza,” CipherTrace noted.
The blockchain firm also shared the following details about Mutaba Raza:
Karachi, Pakistan; DOB 21 Oct 1987; nationality Pakistan; Email Address [email protected]; alt. Email Address [email protected]; Gender Male; National ID No. 4220104113771 (Pakistan) (individual) [CYBER2] [ELECTION-EO13848] (Linked To: SECONDEYE SOLUTION).
Digital Currency Address – XBT 1KSAbh5trMCTZwhiNsuUQvfTtSSTT8zqRk;
alt. Digital Currency Address – XBT 1BiUFjzH6wsT73U3tfy4aXHCQsYQHzjk5h;
Digital Currency Address – LTC LeKvNdNEzgQkzVVnRdV3fAu2DSF1nLsNw6;
Digital Currency Address – XVG DFFJhnQNZf8rf67tYnesPu7MuGUpYtzv7Z;