According to reports in Russian news agency TASS, lawmakers are preparing to enforce powers that could see them taking control of digital currency found to have been obtained illegally or in connection with a crime in a bid to stem the rising tide of ill-gotten digital currency gains in the country. At a conference held in St. Petersburg, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov said the use of cryptocurrency by criminal elements in Russia was a significant issue for law enforcement.
Authorities required more powers for dealing with criminals using digital currencies.
The Prosecutor General further noted that the authorities require more powers for dealing with those who are using digital currencies illegally. Russia passed its first legislation regulating crypto last year. Now, the new measures are expected to see overhauls to both the criminal and penal codes in the country, which will give law enforcement the powers to “apply restrictive measures and confiscation to the digital currencies.” The use of digital currencies in illegal activities has been a concern of financial regulators across countries.
The alleged use of digital currencies for bribes has been a particular concern.
According to Krasnov, a particular problem has emerged around the alleged use of digital currencies for bribes, which is harder to detect than more traditional means of corruption via fiat currency. As a spokesperson for Rosfinmonitoring, Russia’s financial surveillance authority suggested there were plans to trace digital currency cash-outs and introduce a new classification for code for suspicious digital currency transactions. Digital currency has also been seen as a tool for raising funds for political and civil activists in Russia. The latest crackdown is also likely to affect how they use digital currencies to raise funds.