600 Crypto-related Crimes Reported in Ukraine This Year, Say Police
Ukrainian police officers say they have investigated 600 suspected crimes involving crypto since the start of the year.
Forklog reported that the claim was made by Evgeny Panchenko, the head of the analytics team at the police force’s cyber division.
Panchenko claimed that most of the cases involved “cybercriminals” who used coins to “launder criminal proceeds and trade illegal goods on the darkweb.”
“Cryptocurrencies provide a lot of opportunities for the development of the economy. However, criminals also successfully make use of these tools.”
Ukraine’s cyber police sent delegates to a recent summit held by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Economic and Environmental Activities. The summit was created in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
At the meeting, international governments – including that of Ukraine – agreed to a measure proposing more crypto-related powers for law enforcement officers.
The new measure will see police in several countries provided with access to the “necessary tools” for “financial monitoring” and the “investigation of offenses related to [cryptoassets].”
Is Crypto Crime on the Rise in Ukraine?
Earlier this month, a Ukrainian court fined the owner of a tailor’s shop that had been operating as a front for a crypto mining “farm.” The operators were found guilty of stealing power from the local grid to power their rigs. Some 51 people appear to have been complicit in the crime.
The country has also been pushing for progressive, pro-business crypto regulation. The government has also used crypto donations to help fund its ongoing military struggle with Russia.
But police have long warned that crypto and crime go hand-in-hand in modern Ukraine. Last year, the head of the cyber police called for Kyiv to “legalize” and “move cryptocurrency into the legal sector.”
He said that doing so would allow the police to “monitor illegal transactions with cryptocurrency more efficiently” – and claimed that “all black market” players now use crypto as a payments tool.