Latvian police seize cryptocurrency from scammers
Latvian police seize cryptocurrency and other assets from fraudsters
Criminal group ransacked citizens of the USA and Western Europe
Cryptocurrency confiscation is difficult
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Authorities confiscated houses, cars and cryptocurrency from a criminal group that specialized in hacking and financial fraud.
Latvian police seized more than 110 thousand euros in cryptocurrency (BTC, ETH, XRP and USDT) and 755 thousand dollars in real estate and cash from three residents who, according to the investigation, were engaged in financial fraud.
Earned by overwork
Police noted that the criminal group targeted popular sites including Ebay, PayPal and Booking.com. They used personal data of people bought on the darknet. In an official statement, the group was active between early 2015 and 2020, targeting people from Western Europe and the United States. Now the accused face three to 12 years in prison.
“It was found that an organized group massively bought personal data of people on the darknet, as well as login information for various platforms, email passwords and other information that allowed them to get to the electronic payments of victims,” the police said in a statement..
Residents of Latvia reportedly spent their criminal proceeds on a luxurious lifestyle. In addition to a large amount in cryptocurrency, the police also seized 280 thousand euros and 37 thousand dollars in cash, eleven houses worth 315 thousand euros and three cars for a total of 30 thousand euros.
“Fraudsters mostly laundered money in Latvia using various methods – they bought both movable and immovable property and paid daily with proceeds of crime – for fuel, food, entertainment, and also made investments in cryptocurrency and gold,” she added police.
While everything is clear with houses and cars, confiscation of cryptocurrency is not so simple. Not all countries can boast of proven mechanisms for the legal seizure of assets, the status of which is not spelled out in the law, and which do not exist in the legal field at all.
In Russia, this is not possible, but the Ministry of Internal Affairs has already taken care of this problem and expects to develop an appropriate mechanism by 2021. The lack of an appropriate law on digital assets has greatly hampered this process. However, things will probably go faster now, because the Duma adopted the long-suffering law in the third reading and submitted it to the Federation Council..
Read our complete guide to digital asset law in Russia – from the beginnings to the present day.
In Latvia, too, they faced the problem of confiscation at the level of technical implementation. However, then the State Revenue Service (SRS) was able to seize digital coins used for criminal purposes, gaining access to the villains’ cryptocurrency wallet..
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