Russia Considers Jail Time for People Helping Crypto Scammers Launder Proceeds – The Russian Federation’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) and other security organizations want to make it illegal for people to help con artists who take advantage of the popularity of cryptocurrency investments.
According to law enforcement officials, there has been an increase in demand for the services of so-called “droppers” — individuals eager to assist cryptocurrency fraudsters with the laundering of illicitly obtained funds, according to Russian crypto news site Bits.media.
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Typically, a dropper is a person who has been asked to accept illicit money into their bank account or cryptocurrency wallet. The individual can then purchase bitcoin, distribute the funds among many wallets, or withdraw the cash.
These people participate in fraudulent schemes that enable the organizers to withdraw the stolen funds. Although some droppers might not even be aware that they are engaging in criminal behavior, this does not guarantee that they won’t face consequences in Russia.
The MVD Investigative Department’s deputy head for departmental and procedural control, Roman Bubnov, acknowledged that the government wants to make such behavior punishable by law. Droppers might be sentenced to four to seven years in prison if that occurs.
According to Jamali Kuliyev of the law firm Yukov and Partners, “The interior ministry proposes to define the activity as a separate offense, with all the ensuing consequences.” He noted that this would enable Russian courts to impose the maximum punishment possible.
Despite plans to enact new legislation this fall, Russia still lacks a complete regulatory framework for its crypto industry. More than half of the financial pyramids discovered in the first quarter of this year were connected to cryptocurrency, a top central bank official disclosed in early May.
To the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian government, a bill outlining sanctions for the illicit issuing of digital financial assets was presented in June. Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the financial market committee and a participant in the country’s efforts to regulate cryptocurrency transactions, submitted the draft law.