FBI and Ukraine Seize Exchanges on Money Laundering Allegations

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Ukrainian law enforcement have seized the domains of nine digital currency exchanges accused of assisting and abetting hackers.

The FBI’s Detroit Field Office and the National Police of Ukraine “conducted coordinated, court-authorized activity” that resulted in the closure and seizure of the domains of nine virtual currency exchange firms, according to a news statement issued on May 1.

The domains confiscated were 24xbtc.com, 100btc.pro, pridechange.com, trust-exchange.org, and bitcoin24.exchange. Each allegedly provided completely anonymous digital currency exchange services to their consumers, circumventing many of the laws and restrictions that regulated crypto exchanges must follow. Anyone who tries to access these websites will receive a seizure notice from the authorities.

The FBI stated that the exchanges, which provided services in both English and Russian, had “lax” anti-money laundering safeguards and gathered little or no Know Your Customer information. 

According to the FBI, these types of rogue, unlicensed transactions serve as important hubs in the cybercrime ecosystem. Many of these crypto exchanges, according to the agency, were advertised on online forums dedicated to discussing criminal activity.

“Much of the criminal activity occurring at the affected exchanges involved cyber actors responsible for ransomware, but also other scammers, and cybercriminals.”

FBI Actively Investigating Multiple Crypto Cases

Over the last few months, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been involved in a number of cryptocurrency-related investigations.

According to the New York Times, the FBI searched former FTX CEO Ryan Salame’s house on April 27 in connection with his role as one of Sam Bankman-Fried’s former senior advisors.

The FBI seized 86.5 ETH and two non-fungible tokens valued more than $100,000 from an alleged phishing scammer on February 3. The seizure was the product of a protracted investigation by ZachXBT, an independent blockchain investigator who first reported the activities on Twitter in September 2022.