Rosfinmonitoring is conducting hundreds of investigations into cases involving cryptocurrencies, the head of the agency announced. Hundreds of thousands of Russians take part in crypto deals abroad, the top regulator also reported to the Russian president.
Russian Authorities Initiate 20 Criminal Cases Linked to Crypto Assets
The Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation, also known as Rosfinmonitoring, is trying to unravel around 400 cases in which cryptocurrencies are involved. The agency’s director, Yury Chikhanchin, revealed the number during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
The financial watchdog is working on them together with representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) and the Federal Security Service (FSB), the high-ranking official noted. Law enforcement authorities have already initiated 20 criminal cases related to digital assets, he also said.
Commenting on the volume of the crypto turnover registered by his department, Chikhanchin acknowledged that Russians continue to actively use cryptocurrency platforms based outside of the country. He elaborated:
This phenomenon continues to exist. And only on two foreign sites, two exchanges, several hundred thousand Russian citizens participate in transactions worth tens of billions.
Quoted by the crypto outlet of Russian business news portal RBC, the regulator pointed out that these are not only settlements or investment deals. Yury Chikhanchin is convinced that some of these transfers are related to crime.
According to official data released earlier this year, the number of court cases relating to cryptocurrency or crypto mining in Russia has exceeded 1,500 in 2021. Of them, 62% were criminal cases, mostly related to drug trafficking. The numbers represent a 40-percent annual increase.
Russia is yet to fully regulate its crypto space with a law “On Digital Currency” that lawmakers are expected to review during the fall session of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. While most intuitions in Moscow agree that the ruble should remain the only legal tender in the country, officials are exploring the option to allow crypto payments for small settlements in international trade.
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