Crypto Updates

Officials From the US and UK Investigate Crypto Transfers to Russian Exchange Valued at $20,000,000,000: Report

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Authorities from the US and UK are reportedly investigating $20 billion worth of crypto assets sent to a Russian crypto exchange platform.

According to a new report by Bloomberg, anonymous sources familiar with the incident say that officials from the US and UK are looking into the matter as part of a crackdown effort against those evading sanctions to support Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The report says that the digital assets in question flowed through Moscow-based crypto exchange Garantex as the stablecoin Tether (USDT).

However, Garantex was already sanctioned by the US and UK on suspicion that it was aiding illicit transactions to Russia. The sources said that the $20 billion transfer appears to be one of the biggest breaches of sanctions placed on Russia since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.

In a statement given to Bloomberg, Tether says that it has frozen all assets of entities with entities that are on the US’s sanctions list.

“With Tether, every action is online, every transaction is traceable, every asset can be seized, and every criminal can be caught. We work with law enforcement to do exactly that.”

According to the report, the US Treasury first sanctioned Garantex in April 2022 after it said the crypto exchange was allowing its network to be taken advantage of by bad actors by disregarding proper anti-money laundering protocols as well as anti-terrorist financing.

Earlier this week, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said that it identified and sanctioned 13 entities and two individuals that were responsible for skirting sanctions and aiding Russia.

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