Intelligence services in Ukraine and the United States have partnered to bust a crime ring that allegedly laundered tens of millions of dollars through cryptocurrencies. The crime ring is also reported to have sold BTC-stealing malware. In its announcement, the Security Service of Ukraine claimed that the cybercriminals sourced their clients from the darknet, using fictitious names and fake online identities to mask their real identities.
The crime ring also reportedly engaged in stealing cryptocurrencies.
In addition to the laundering, the crime ring also reportedly engaged in stealing cryptocurrencies. They allegedly sold flash drives that came with malware that would give them access to the victim’s cryptocurrencies which they would then wipe clean. The SBU cracked down on the crime ring and managed to seize malicious software and hardware, cash, and computer equipment that implicated the criminals in illicit activities. “The seized information is currently being analyzed to prosecute all responsible persons, including foreign customers of fraud,” the agency said.
Ukraine has been a global leader in crypto regulation.
The operation that busted these criminals was led by the Department of Cyber Security at the SBU, with the Ukrainian national police and the Prosecutor’s General Office. Together, they searched addresses in Mykolaiv, a city in the southern part of Ukraine. Ukraine has been a global leader in digital currency regulation, and consequently, adoption. As reported earlier, Ukraine legalized digital currencies but made it clear that they are not a means of payment. The law seeks to tread the fine line between making Bitcoin legal and preventing its use for illicit purposes.