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May 29, 2022

Chief Investigator: Belarus Seized Millions in Crypto

In the beginning, cryptocurrencies were used for drug trafficking and then for economic crimes, according to Dmitry Gora, chairman of Belarus Investigative Committee, who spoke to the state-run ONT channel. Authorities have already recovered cryptocurrency worth hundreds of millions of Belarusian rubles, according to the law enforcement official (millions of U.S. dollars).

President Vladimir Putin issued a presidential order in May 2018 legalizing a wide range of crypto operations, including mining, trading, and more. The paper included tax discounts and other incentives for crypto firms working at the Hi-Tech Park (HTP) in Minsk as part of the country’s digital economy development plans.

By 2021, President Alexander Lukashenko said that the country’s crypto rules may be tightened, citing China as an example. Belarusian officials, on the other hand, indicated that tighter regulations for the business were not in the works. And the finance ministry has suggested revisions that would permit digital asset acquisition by investment funds.

As of April of this year, the Ministry of Justice created a legislative mechanism that allows for seizures of crypto money as part of enforcement action. In February, Lukashenko issued another edict requiring the development of a special record for crypto wallets used for illegal purposes.

“Advanced subordinates” were quoted by Dmitry Gora as suggesting that bitcoin was “digital rubbish.” My responsibility is to come up with a way to pay for the harm that has been done to our state. There are several ways to turn rubbish into cash. I won’t get into specifics, but suffice it to say that we’ve figured it out. The procedures that enable us to deal with these difficulties are in place, and they work well,” he went on to explain.

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According to the executive in charge of law enforcement, both public and private sector groups are participating in the investigation. Because of this, Gora said that “the sums that are already in the shape of good, regular money are on the accounts of the Investigative Committee.”