Russian Prosecutors Seek Ability to Seize Crypto Assets, Set Up Wallets

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Russian prosecutorial officials are asking the government in Moscow to permit them to create their own cryptocurrency wallets. This would allow law enforcement officers to seize digital funds during criminal proceedings and eventually liquidate them, something that authorities in the United States and Europe already do.

Russian Prosecutors Request Authority to Seize and Sell Cryptocurrencies

The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation is suggesting to authorize investigative agencies to establish crypto accounts and wallets under their jurisdiction for storing seized digital coins that can then be auctioned for the benefit of the state.

Speaking in the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, a representative of the Office’s Main Criminal Procedural Department, Madina Dolgieva, stated that there’s no need to alter the law to grant such powers.

“The Prosecutor General’s Office has long argued for the development and optimization of confiscation procedures as another actionable step,” Dolgieva said during a round table discussion. She was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying:

We can permit the investigative authorities to open their own cryptocurrency accounts and wallets.

This can be done through a government decree, Dolgieva detailed. “It is not necessary to make modifications to the Criminal Procedure Law since this is a lengthy process,” the law enforcement representative stated.

She also believes it is necessary to issue a different government decree or modify the current law governing enforcement proceedings in order to allow the Russian Federal Bailiff Service to auction confiscated cryptocurrency.

Dolgieva made the proposals after the head of Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office, Igor Krasnov, demanded earlier this week that crypto exchanges offering services to Russian consumers be required to register in the country and share user data with Russian law enforcement.

Krasnov also sought for more comprehensive regulations for digital assets in Russia, insisting that simply recognizing cryptocurrency as property is not enough to counter illegal activities in the current international situation, which he believes increases the risks of exploiting vulnerabilities through crypto.

American and European law enforcement organizations have set up procedures to seize and auction crime-related crypto assets. Recently, the U.S. Justice Department said it had confiscated cryptocurrency worth over $112 million associated with fraudulent investment schemes. In July last year, Finland’s customs service announced it had sold forfeited bitcoin worth over $50 million.

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accounts, authorization, Crypto, Crypto Accounts, crypto wallets, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Decree, investigators, Law, prosecutor, Prosecutor’s, prosecutor’s office, Russia, russian, Wallets

Do you think the Russian government will authorize prosecutors and investigators to open cryptocurrency wallets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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