Ukrainian police, assisted by US law enforcement officials, have disrupted nine crypto exchange platforms suspected of laundering criminal proceeds. The platforms were allegedly used to legalize illicit funds obtained through ransomware attacks and fraudulent schemes. Anonymous exchange of cryptocurrencies through these forums facilitated the transfer of digital assets obtained through cybercrime activities, and the services were advertised on closed hacker forums.
Multi-Level International Operation
Officers from Ukraine’s Cyberpolice unit, Main Investigative Department, and Prosecutor General’s Office, along with FBI representatives, participated in this multi-level international operation. The infrastructure of the network was located on servers in the United States, a number of European countries, and Ukraine. During the operation, the authorities blocked their server access. Investigators are now working to identify all individuals involved in these crimes.
Blocked Web Platforms
The police have seized nine cryptocurrency exchanges, and visitors to 24xbtc.com, 100btc.pro, pridechange.com, 101crypta.com, uxbtc.com, trust-exchange.org, bitcoin24.exchange, paybtc.pro, and owl.gold are now being redirected to a notice stating that the domains have been seized by law enforcement.
Enhancing Cryptocurrency Expertise
The Ukrainian government is keen to enhance its expertise in cryptocurrencies both with regard to crime prevention and regulation. In March, employees of the Cyberpolice, the Asset Recovery and Management Agency, and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) attended a training program organized by the world’s leading crypto exchange, Binance.
This is not the first time that Ukrainian agencies have thwarted cryptocurrency fraud and scams. In November 2022, a cybercrime-combating unit dismantled a crypto fraud scheme allegedly making over $200 million a year. Later in April, the authorities shut down a $40 million Russian crypto pyramid. Such efforts demonstrate Ukraine’s commitment to combating illegal activities in the crypto industry.