Russia Suspiciously Received $20 Billion Crypto Transfers; US And UK Now Investigating

By Thea Felicity

Mar 28, 2024 12:28 PM EDT

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In a coordinated effort, the United States and the United Kingdom have initiated a comprehensive investigation into cryptocurrency transactions amounting to over $20 billion, which were routed through a virtual exchange based in Russia, per Bloomberg.

According to Reuters, this joint probe is a part of the allies' strategy to counteract the evasion of sanctions, which has been implicated in supporting Vladimir Putin's military actions in Ukraine.

Sources familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue, revealed that the focus of this investigation centers on payments processed through Garantex, a Moscow-based cryptocurrency exchange. 

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These transactions are reportedly conducted using Tether, a cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar, and have occurred subsequent to Garantex being subjected to sanctions by both the US and UK authorities. The sanctions were imposed based on suspicions that Garantex has been complicit in facilitating financial crimes.

Tether, in response to inquiries regarding these transactions, has reiterated its commitment to collaborating with law enforcement agencies to ensure adherence to regulatory standards. 

The US and UK's investigations coincide with an increasing worry among Western countries about Russia's misuse of cryptocurrencies to avoid sanctions. Both countries now call for regulatory supervision of the cryptocurrency market to prevent its manipulation of illicit activities.

READ MORE: US Crypto Exchange Coinbase Gets Regulatory Nod in France

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