On 1st May, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation cracked down on virtual currency exchanges used for criminal activities. According to reports, the FBI’s Detroit Field Office, with the help of the Virtual Currency Response Team (VCRT), and the National Police of Ukraine conducted the court-legalized activity collectively. The coordinated efforts of both authorities resulted in the crackdown and seizure of nine virtual currency services.
In the press release of the United States Attorney’s Office, it was clarified that these virtual currency exchanges facilitate criminals through their services. According to reports, the domains which were disrupted by authorities are 24xbtc.com, and 100 btc.pro, pridechange.com, trust-exchange.org, and bitcoin24.exchange. They were charged for offering entirely anonymous digital currency exchange services. Additionally, they were not complying with many of the rules and regulations required of a licensed cryptocurrency exchange.
With the innovations in the payment system, the risk of fraud and data breaches is very prevalent. Also, the cyber team has shut down the related servers of these domains. If someone will try to reach the websites of seized virtual currency exchanges they will witness the message of seizure by the FBI.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation informed that the exchanges operated in both English and Russian featured negligible anti-money laundering (AML) measures and acquired very minimal know-your-customer (KYC) information from the users. Additionally, the FBI claimed that these types of crypto exchanges are a favorite destination for cybercriminals to grow further. According to the reports, some of these cryptocurrency exchanges were advertised on several illegal forums where illicit activities were discussed. They were charged with the violation of Title 18 United States Code, Sections 1960 and 1956.
The FBI has been very active for the last few months in cracking down the illegal cryptocurrency-related exchanges. On 27th March, the agency searched the house of former FTX co-CEO Ryan Salame. However, it’s not clear yet what they were searching for in the house. For those who are not aware Salame was the fourth largest share of FTX collapse worth $87 million in compensation. On February 3, an alleged phishing fraudster turned over to the FBI 86.5 ETH and two non-fungible tokens totaling more than $100,000. It can be assumed after looking at the approach of the FBI that it will continue to disrupt illegal crypto activities in the future.