Bitcoin and crypto seized in major corruption case in Ukraine

Ukraine is once again struggling with a government scandal surrounding cryptocurrencies.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) recently seized crypto worth €1.56 million from a high-ranking government official.

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Bitcoin, Tether and Tron seized

The crypto coins were confiscated from one Yury Fedorovych Shchigol, the former head of the DerzhSpetsZviazku or Special Communications Service of Ukraine. The organization is responsible for communications between government agencies, protection of state secrets and cybersecurity.

NABU announces that it has seized 6.9 Bitcoin (BTC), 1.2 million Tether (USDT) and 331 Tron (TRX) tokens. In total, the seized cryptocurrency is worth 62 million Ukrainian hryvnias (UAH) or 1.56 million euros.

Shchyhol is suspected of orchestrating a cryptocurrency embezzlement plan together with his successor Victor Zhor. The money was originally intended for the Special Communications Service to purchase software and services.

The government agency paid 285 million hryvnia (around 7.2 million euros) for goods and services that actually cost only 223 million hryvnia (around 5.6 million euros).

The difference was then pocketed by the managers. The purchases were kept secret to avoid public tenders. Shchyhol and Zhor were arrested last week.

Crypto is very popular in Ukraine

Crypto is gaining popularity in Ukraine, especially in the war against Russia. Last summer, for example, it emerged that Ukraine had received up to $225 million in cryptocurrency donations during the war.

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The above story shows that cryptocurrencies were already popular in the country before the war. The incident is said to have occurred sometime between 2020 and 2022.

However, it seems that the Ukrainian government is concerned about crypto crime. Therefore, it recently enlisted the help of the American tax authorities, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD).

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