The agency noted that these measures should prevent Russia from evading sanctions with cryptocurrencies

​US Treasury sanctioned crypto exchange Garantex and darknet marketplace Hydra

06.04.2022 - 15:55

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1 min

What’s new? On April 5, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on the Garantex crypto exchange and the Hydra darknet marketplace. The OFAC investigation is based on recent sanctions against cryptocurrency exchangers Suex and Chatex, which, like Garantex, operated out of the Federation Tower in Moscow. This is stated on the US Treasury Department’s official website.

US Treasury Department’s press release

Details of the investigation. OFAC found that about $8 million in proceeds from ransomware such as Ryuk, Sodinokibi, and Conti passed through Hydra’s accounts. An analysis of known Garantex transactions revealed that transactions worth more than $100 million related to illegal activities. Almost $6 million of these came from the Russian hacker group Conti, and about $2,6 million came from Hydra. OFAC has blocked all property of Hydra and Garantex that are located in the United States.

What is known about Garantex? It is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in late 2019 and originally registered in Estonia. Garantex lost its financial services license in February 2022. This happened after the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit revealed a link between the crypto exchange and wallets used for criminal activities.

Earlier, the German Federal Criminal Police (BKA) disabled the German servers of the Russian darknet marketplace Hydra. The international operation seized about $25,32 million.

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