Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov said that the Russian government is currently developing a number of amendments to the country’s criminal code that will allow the authorities to confiscate cryptocurrency obtained as a result of illegal activities, the TASS news agency reported.
Speaking on Wednesday at a conference of European prosecutors’ offices, Krasnov stressed that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) are increasingly being used for corruption and bribery. The official said that cryptocurrency is also a tool for laundering appropriated budget funds.
“A serious challenge is the criminal use of cryptocurrencies in our country ,” Krasnov said.
He added that the Law on Digital Financial Assets (DFA) adopted in Russia has played a decisive role in solving this problem, but new amendments to the criminal code will provide additional protection.
“This [amendment] will allow for restrictive measures and confiscation of virtual assets,” Krasnov said.
Legislators have already begun work on changing the criminal procedural base. This is done in order for the state to obtain the authority to seize digital currencies from persons recognized by the court as criminals.
However, according to some local industry experts, no amount of legislation will allow the government to confiscate cryptoassets.
“Obviously, digital assets stored in wallets cannot be confiscated like any other type of asset, ” said Nikita Soshnikov, a former senior lawyer at Deloitte CIS and director of Alfacash.
However, there is already one landmark case, when FSB officers were found guilty of accepting bribes, and the court officially seized 0.1 and 4.70235 BTC. «
Soshnikov added that Russia began to develop provisions for the confiscation of cryptocurrency back in 2019, many years before the adoption of the DFA law:
«The Prosecutor General’s Office remains a key participant in this project, and in this context, the current statement is a confirmation of the agreed plans.»
Former Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Igor Krasnov became the country’s prosecutor general in early 2020. Since his appointment, he has been a staunch opponent of cryptocurrency.
Last year, he argued that cybercrime in Russia is often carried out with the help of cryptocurrencies, and their number has increased 25 times since 2015. In October last year, he announced that Russian civil servants would be required to declare cryptoassets on an equal basis with other assets.