Russian institutions have responded to a call from а public movement for joint efforts to identify cryptocurrency transfers related to drug trade. The anti-drug organization, Stopnarkotik, recently asked the interior ministry and the central bank to investigate alleged connections between U.S.-sanctioned crypto exchange Suex and a darknet market operating in the region.
Russian Authorities Respond to Stopnarkotik’s Request for Action Against Drug Trade
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (MVD) and Bank of Russia have agreed to cooperate with the All-Russian Public Movement Stopnarkotik on identifying financial flows involving cryptocurrencies obtained as a result of drug sales. The Russian online news portal Lenta.ru reported on the agreement, quoting a letter from a high-ranking MVD official.
The letter signed by Major General Andrei Yanishevsky, head of the Drug Control Department at the Interior Ministry, has been issued after a working meeting with representatives of the anti-drug organization. It comes in response to Stopnarkotik’s call for the two institutions to carry out an investigation focused on Suex, a Russia-based OTC crypto broker, and its links to other companies and banks.
In September, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted the Czech-registered entity Suex OTC s.r.o. which operates out of physical offices in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The crypto platform is suspected of processing hundreds of millions of dollars in coin transactions related to scams, ransomware attacks, darknet markets, and the infamous Russian BTC-e exchange.
Since launching in 2018, Suex is believed to have received over $481 million in BTC alone. Close to $13 million came from ransomware operators such as Ryuk, Conti, and Maze, over $24 million was sent by crypto scams like Finiko, $20 million came from mixers, and another $20 million from darknet markets such as the Russia-targeting Hydra, blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis detailed in a report.