• Three Russians have been sentenced to strict-regime prison for stealing over a million dollars‘ worth of cryptocurrency from another man.
• The court also ordered them to compensate the victim for the damages.
• Russia is reviewing its regulatory approach towards decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Crypto Robbers Sentenced in Russia
A court in Omsk, Russia has issued a verdict in a criminal case against three men from Moscow who extorted digital currency from a local resident. Two of them were found guilty of robbery and forgery of documents and the third one of fraud. They are now going to serve between six-and-a-half and nine years in a strict-regime correctional colony, as well as compensate any damage caused to the victim.
The robbers learned that an Omsk resident owned significant crypto funds and traveled all the way from Moscow to Siberia where they followed him for about 10 days examining his movements and daily routines. On the day of the attack, they stopped him on the street, presented fake IDs and forced him into a car taking away 3 million rubles ($40,000) in cash and made him transfer another 84 million rubles ($1.1 million) in cryptocurrency.
Growing Number of Crypto Crimes Cases
There has been a growing number of cases involving crypto crimes prosecutions in Russia recently, with two residents of Tomsk being tried for „large-scale robbery“ involving theft of almost $5 million worth of crypto currency from a miner back in February 2021. In July 2021, masked armed men robbed a large crypto mining facility near Moscow too.
Russia’s Regulatory Approach Towards Cryptocurrency
Given the invasion sanctions imposed by other countries over Ukraine, Russia is currently mulling over its regulatory approach towards decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, with efforts to adopt rules for related activities and transactions underway through bills under review by their Parliament at present time. Cryptocurrency has been previously recognized as property by Russian authorities nonetheless.
Although there has been an increase on cases prosecuting people responsible for crypto-related crimes lately in Russia, they have yet to implement proper regulations on cryptocurrencies or establish clear guidelines regarding their usage within their territory at this moment