The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation along with the Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has reportedly shut down an “organized criminal community.”
It noted in a release that a known hackers group REvil or ransomware evil was raided at the appeal of the U.S authorities. And, the searches led to a seizure of $5.5 million (426 million rubles) in fiat and cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, while making 14 arrests, the authorities have been said to have nabbed computer equipment and crypto wallets used to commit crimes.
The translated release stated,
“In order to implement the criminal intent, these persons developed malicious software, organized the theft of funds from the bank accounts of foreign citizens and their cashing out, including by purchasing expensive goods on the Internet.”
It is worth noting here that ransomware attacks that include crypto wallets are carried out by locking out the victim by breaking encryption. And to return control of the systems, a ransom is demanded in cryptocurrency.
The arrested members have been charged under the article pertaining to “Illegal circulation of means of payment” under the Criminal Code of Russia. This was done after investigating the involvement of its members in the illegal circulation of means of payment and documenting illegal activities.
The development comes on the back of media reports of the Russian National Financial Association (NFA) appealing for regulation of crypto assets. Opposing a ban, the NFA is reportedly looking at amending the proposal that guides crypto use until 2030.
In the past, reports suggested that the Federation Council of the Russian legislature has been working to form a committee for comprehensive decisions on virtual currencies. But, despite the country’s known stringent stance, many Russian businesses have deep-dived in the crypto space.
Recently, Russian lender TCS Group Holding (TCSq.L) acquired Switzerland-based crypto services firm Aximetria. This came after Russia’s Tinkoff Investments had confirmed that it is exploring crypto-related projects even when “brokers cannot offer this service by law.”
We should note that TCS Group holds Tinkoff Investments, which is a brokerage arm of one of Moscow’s largest online banks, Tinkoff.
Last year, MyTona had become the first company in Russia to announce its plans in the Metaverse sector.