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The US Department of the Treasury has sanctioned Chatex crypto exchange “for facilitating financial transactions for ransomware actors”. DOJ seized $6.1 million as a result.
This Monday, the US Treasury Department made an announcement regarding sanctions on a cryptocurrency exchange and ransomware actors. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on the Chatex crypto exchange as it was found to be funding ransomware operators.
According to the Treasury Department, “Analysis of Chatex’s known transactions indicate that over half are directly traced to illicit or high-risk activities such as darknet markets, high-risk exchanges, and ransomware.”
Chatex was also found to be directly linked with Suex OTC, a crypto exchange that the OFAC sanctioned on September 21. Moreover, the OFAC has also sanctioned a Russian Yevgeniy Polyanin, and a Ukrainian Yaroslav Vasinskyi “for their part in perpetuating Sodinokibi/Revil ransomware incidents against the United States.”
The Treasury Department mentioned that the two individuals were “part of a cybercriminal group that has engaged in ransomware activities and received more than $200 million in ransom payments paid in bitcoin and monero.”
“All property and interests in property of the designated targets that are subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. Additionally, any entities 50 percent or more owned by one or more designated persons are also blocked”, as explained by the Treasury Department.
The seizure of $6.1 million was separately announced by the US Department of Justice on Monday, where Polyanin and Vasinskyi were “charged with deploying Sodinokibi/Revil ransomware to attack businesses and government entities in the United States.”
The DOJ also mentioned that the seized amount is traceable to ransomware funding that was delivered to Polyanin. According to the warrant, the funds were found to be kept in an “FTX Trading Limited” account in the name of “Evegnii Igorevich Polianin”.