The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced the seizure of domain names of nine digital currency platforms allegedly involved in assisting bad actors in violating U.S. regulations.
The FBI made the disclosure via a press release, where it revealed that it carried out the enforcement actions in partnership with the National Police of Ukraine. Per the release, the exchanges mentioned in the bust include 24xbtc.com, 100btc.pro, pridechange.com, 101crypta.com, uxbtc.com, trust-exchange.org, bitcoin24.exchange, paybtc.pro, and owl.gold.
The named platforms are known for attracting digital currency scammers through their weak anti-money laundering programs, authorities said. Also, the platforms’ Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures are essentially non-existent, which the FBI says violates the salient provision of the Title 18 United States Code, sections 1960 and 1956.
“Many of these services are advertised on online forums dedicated to discussing criminal activity. By providing these services, the virtual currency exchanges knowingly support the criminal activities of their clients and become co-conspirators in criminal schemes,” the release read.
As per the release, most criminal activities happening in the exchanges involved ransomware scammers. The exchanges offer English and Russian texts to cater to a broader class of bad actors across multiple continents.
Visitors to the sites will be met with a banner pointing out that federal authorities have seized the domain. Potential users are also deterred by the threat that “facilitating money laundering is a federal crime” as the authorities posit the value of laundered funds on the platforms runs into millions of dollars.
Both centralized and decentralized exchanges have been forced to comply with AML rules laid down by regulators worldwide. Given the borderless nature of digital currencies, authorities are increasing collaboration to police the burgeoning industry efficiently.
The FBI is holding its own
The FBI is pulling its weight in enforcement action against digital currency bad actors within and outside the United States. It recently led a raid in the private residence of former FTX co-CEO Ryan Salame following the $87 million he received from the defunct digital currency exchange.
Following a tip-off from on-chain analysis expert ZachZBT, the FBI seized over $100,000 worth of digital assets from a phishing scammer in February. Several bad actors in the industry, including Ruja Ignatova, are on the FBI’s wanted list while it regularly releases advisories to the public on potential scam activities.
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