The US Treasury Department has blacklisted Suez, a Russia-based cryptocurrency broker, for its money laundering activities. The platform is suspected to be processing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crypto transactions related to scandals, ransomware attacks, the Darknet Market and the infamous BTC-E Exchange.
OFAC has blacklisted the Russian crypto OTC exchange Suez
The US Treasury Department of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added Suex to its list of specially designated citizens and blocked persons (SDNs). The move, announced Tuesday, effectively bans U.S. citizens from joining the platform. OFAC also released a list of cryptocurrency addresses associated with Suex.
The company behind the crypto broker, Suex OTC sro, is an entity registered in the Czech Republic. However, it operates mainly from branches of the Russian Federation, which includes the capital Moscow and its office in St. Petersburg, the second largest city in the country. It is believed that the Suzuki maintains a presence in Russia, the surrounding region and possibly elsewhere in the Middle East.
According to a report by blockchain forensic firm Chinalysis, which supported the U.S. government-led investigation, SuEx (“successful exchange”) offers users the ability to convert their cryptocurrency into cash and other assets at its actual location. These services have attracted ransomware actors, scammers and darknet market operators who allegedly sent more than 160 160 million in Bitcoin (BTC) to over-the-counter (OTC) crypto brokers.
Since its launch in early 2018, the Suez has received more than 1 481 million in total at BTC, according to the exchange rate at the time of the transfer, and it accepts Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT) among other currencies. Of that amount, about million 1 million came from Rankcomware operators such as Ryuk, Conti and Maze. More than 24 24 million was sent through crypto scams, including the Finico Ponzi scheme, more than 20 20 million came from darknet markets such as the Russian Hydra market, and another মিল 20 million came from Mixer, Chinalysis details.
OTC Broker has received more than $ 82 million from the “high risk” digital asset trading platform. According to the investigation, Suex received more than $ 50 million in cryptocurrency from addresses now associated with inactive BTC-e. Although the exchange was shut down four years ago to facilitate money laundering by cybercriminals, funds were then sent to crypto brokers, possibly former administrators, associates or users.
One of the alleged operators of BTC-E, Russian IT expert Alexander Vinik, who was arrested in Greece in the summer of 2017, was sentenced by a French court to five years in prison last December on money laundering charges. Another Russian citizen, Dmitry Vasilyev, who operated BTC-E’s successor platform, Wax, was recently arrested in Poland. Someone removed more than $ 30 million worth of ether from Wax Wallet earlier this week.
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