Russian Central Bank Links Crypto Transactions With Money Laundering

The manual was developed in collaboration with the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring (Rosfinmonitoring). A central bank representative explained that this was done to “add new schemes of conducting unusual operations, with consideration to the modern developments in financial markets.”

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) published a new set of rules for suspicious transactions, Russian finance publication RBC reported on Feb. 17. The update broadly categorizes any cryptocurrency-linked transaction as a potential money laundering risk.

The bank issued an update to directive 375-P, which lists all signs of suspicious activity that may be linked to money laundering. This is the first such update since 2012, when the initial regulations were introduced.

The head of the central bank had previously stated that the number of possible risk factors should be decreased. Like in other countries, if a bank or another financial service provider identifies certain transactions as suspicious, they may freeze the suspect’s account or shut it down completely in severe cases.

Cryptocurrencies are a risk

Though the list may have been consolidated, the regulators added a broad clause that considers any cryptocurrency-linked activity as a potential risk.

Within the same framework, cash operations require several caveats to be considered as suspicious. For example, if a physical person regularly cashes out most of the money received from a legal entity.

For cryptocurrencies, any activity that can be identified as buying or selling them will be considered a money laundering risk. This generally involves deposits and withdrawals from known exchanges.

This move comes as Russian legislators still continue making amendments  to the digital financial asset law, which was proposed in early 2018. The regulators’ stance toward cryptocurrency seems to have taken a turn for the worse recently, as nationwide bans on their use for payment are being considered.

Sanctions Sought Over Craig Wright’s ‘False’ BTC Addresses and Courier Story

The Kleiman estate intends to file a motion for sanctions against Craig Wright claiming that a list of Bitcoin addresses he provided the court were fake.

They also claim that he provided a «false notice» to the court about the mysterious bonded courier who Wright said would show up in January with the keys to Satoshi’s 1.1 million Bitcoin.

In a motion for a brief extension to the May 8 deadline filed earlier today, Kleiman’s legal team wrote:

«Plaintiffs intend to file a sanctions motion based on Defendant’s conduct in these proceedings. This motion will include, but not be limited to, the Defendant’s provision of a false notice  and  false  list  of  bitcoin  addresses  in  response  to  this  Court’s  order  allowing  him ‘through and including February 3, 2020, to file a notice with the Court indicating whether or not this mysterious figure has appeared from the shadows and whether the Defendant now has access to the last key slice needed to unlock the encrypted file’.»

They’re asking the court for a ten day extension to get on top of the 13 depositions conducted over the past two weeks to prove their case.

Trial set to begin in July

Cointelegraph reported yesterday the trial is expected to begin on July 6 and that the lawyers on both sides had confirmed they were not planning any motions that could delay the trial.

The ongoing lawsuit was brought by Ira Kleiman, brother of Wright’s deceased business partner David Kleiman. The Kleiman estate is after a share of the billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin Wright and Kleiman allegedly mined.

Earlier in the case, Wright claimed he no longer had access to the BTC, which was held in the Tulip Trust and that a bonded courier would show up in January 2020 providing access. In January, he told the court the courier had shown up, and submitted a list of BTC addresses.

The case is not looking promising for Wright at this stage, as both Judge Bloom and Judge Reinhart have made reference to Wright’s provision of forged materials and perjured testimony.

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