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Russian Prosecutor General Coming for Civil Servants’ ‘Hidden Bitcoin’

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

The office of the Russian Prosecutor General has redoubled its attempts to force government officials to declare their crypto holdings as part of a bid to wipe out corruption among civil servants – vowing that “there will be no untouchables” in the corridors of power.

The building of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Source: Adobe/Андрей Журавлев

In an interview with media outlet Rossiskaya Gazeta, Igor Krasnov, the head of the Prosecutor General’s office, confirmed that the new ruling will come into force at the start of 2021, when a new law on digital and crypto assets promulgates.

Krasnov stated that some unscrupulous civil servants have taken to concealing illegal income by receiving it or converting it into crypto. He added that even though Russain courts do not consider crypto to have monetary value, they can be deemed as property. As such, public sector officials must declare crypto earnings and gifts in their income statements.

Krasnov declared that “[cryptoassets], like conventional currencies, can be operated within the shadows.”

And he added that although it may be challenging to track down undeclared crypto, finding “hidden bitcoins” was, in principle, no harder than hunting down “gray” cash deals.

Krasnov added,

“[The relevant] monitoring will be carried out mainly using the capabilities of the [law enforcement] services and financial intelligence agencies.”

Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service (known locally as Rosfinmonitoring), the state agency charged with fighting money laundering and countering the funding terrorism, earlier this year reportedly claimed it had developed a prototype for an AI-powered “partial” de-anonymizing solution that will allow officials to de-mask recipients and senders in anonymous crypto transactions.
Learn more:
Lawyer Warns Russian Crypto, Blockchain Exodus Has Already Begun
Russian Ministry Wants to Jail Citizens Who Don’t Declare Bitcoin Earnings
Declare Your Bitcoin or We’ll Take 30% of it – Draft Russian Law