- The FBI and Ukrainian law enforcement have taken down nine cryptocurrency trading websites that assisted in money laundering.
- The law enforcement operation also resulted in the seizure of the website’s servers, which were situated in the United States, Ukraine, and other European nations.
Nine digital currency exchanges that were thought to be helping cybercriminals have been shut down by Ukrainian law enforcement and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In accordance with a news release from May 1, the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and the Ukrainian National Police “conducted coordinated, court-authorized activity” that led to the closure and seizure of nine virtual currency exchange firms’ domains.
The following websites were confiscated: 24xBTC.com, 100BTC.pro, PrideChange.com, owl.gold, and paybtc.pro. According to reports, all of them provided their users with entirely anonymous digital currency exchange services while dodging all of the laws and guidelines that are expected of licensed crypto exchanges. These websites will display a seizure notice from the authorities for anyone seeking to access them.
The exchanges, which provided services in both English and Russian, had “lax” anti-money laundering controls and gathered little to no KYC data, according to the FBI. The FBI’s statement reads:
“Noncompliant virtual currency exchanges, which have a lax anti-money laundering program or collect minimal Know Your Customer information or none at all, serve as important hubs in the cybercrime ecosystem and are operating in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 1960 and 1956,”
The law enforcement operation also resulted in the seizure of the website’s servers, which were situated in the United States, Ukraine, and other European nations. The Bureau asserted that these unauthorized, rogue exchanges act as significant nodes in the ecosystem of cybercrime. The authorities claim that several of these virtual currency exchanges advertised themselves on websites where criminal activity was discussed.
“Much of the criminal activity occurring at the affected exchanges involved cyber actors responsible for ransomware, but also other scammers, and cybercriminals.”
Over the past few months, the FBI has been involved in a number of cases involving cryptocurrencies. On April 27, the FBI raided Ryan Salame’s home in connection with his role as one of Sam Bankman-Fried’s former senior advisors. Ryan Salame was a former manager at FTX.
In February, an alleged phishing scammer sent the FBI 86.5 ether and two nonfungible tokens (NFTs) totaling more than $100,000. Independent blockchain detective ZachXBT conducted a thorough investigation that led to the seizure after he first reported the activities on Twitter in September 2022.