The suspect stated cooperation with the investigation but refused to reveal the password for the address

Moscow court seized the crypto wallet of the alleged administrator of the Hydra darknet marketplace

31.05.2022 - 09:50

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2 min

What’s new? A Moscow court has seized the cryptocurrency wallet of the alleged administrator of the Hydra darknet marketplace, Dmitry Pavlov. The suspect stated that he is cooperating with the investigation, but he refused to provide login details for the wallet, according to the Mash Telegram channel. The investigation suggests that there may be hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoins on the blocked address.

Mash’s material

How did events develop? In mid-April, the court arrested Pavlov, and all of his computers and phones were seized. The alleged administrator of the platform became the first suspect in the seven-year history of the darknet marketplace.

Mikhail Uspensky, an expert on taxes and legal support for blockchain projects, noted in a commentary to Kommersant that law enforcers can in theory hack into Pavlov’s wallet. However, he added that the criminal was unlikely to have used only one address to store the cryptocurrency.

“It is very likely that bitcoins withdrawn from the shadow sites passed through a number of mixers, transactions were mixed and went to different addresses. There are dozens, if not hundreds of wallets at the receiving end that are not interconnected and have not previously interacted with each other,” the expert added.

According to the investigation, Pavlov had been detained due to a hacker who leaked online the data of Hydra administrators. Pavlov himself denies guilt, saying that he only provided servers for rent to the platform. The court plans to choose a measure of restraint for the suspect as early as mid-July, he is currently in pre-trial detention.

What happened before? In early April, the German Federal Criminal Police disabled the German servers of Hydra. About $25,32 million in BTC was seized in the operation. According to analytics firm Chainalysis, Hydra accounted for 75% of all darknet revenue in 2020, roughly $1,35 billion. The marketplace surpassed exchanges such as Kraken, OKX, and Poloniex in terms of cryptocurrency turnover.

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on the darknet marketplace. According to the regulator’s investigation, about $8 million in proceeds from ransomware such as Ryuk, Sodinokibi, and Conti passed through Hydra’s accounts.

Author:

Vasiliy Smirnov Vasiliy Smirnov

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