Russia Considering Jail Time For Those Helping Launder Crypto Proceeds

Russia’s interior ministry has decided to target those who provide assistance to crypto scammers and fraudsters in money laundering. It has gone as far as suggesting that these parties could go to prison for providing these services. These people are referred to as ‘droppers’ and the department is interested in introducing criminal liability for the activities they engage in.

Droppers are the target

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), along with other Russian security agencies, are hoping to introduce criminal liability for people who provide their assistance to fraudsters and scammers in exploiting crypto investors in one way or the other.

According to law enforcement officials, they have seen an increase in demand for the services of these ‘droppers’. This term refers to people who are ready to assist crypto criminals in helping launder the funds that are obtained illegally.

A dropper is typically someone who agrees to accept funds that are illegally obtained in their crypto wallet or bank account. This person can help launder the money by either withdrawing it, splitting it between different wallets or purchasing the cryptocurrency.

These individuals are quite active in scams and fraudulent schemes because they assist the criminals behind these schemes in cashing out the funds they steal. As a matter of fact, some of these droppers are not even aware that they are participating in illegal activities, but Russia intends to hold them accountable.

Criminal liability

The deputy head of the Investigative Department of the MVD, Roman Bubnov said that the authorities are interested in introducing criminal liability for these activities. If they do go through with it, these droppers could be facing jail times between four and seven years.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry has proposed that the activities of droppers be categorized as a separate offense altogether and should have consequences associated with it. This would come in handy for Russian courts, as imposing the maximum sentence would become easier.

Crypto regulation

Another hot topic currently being debated in Russia in regard to cryptocurrencies is their regulation. The country has not regulated the crypto space comprehensively as yet, even though they have been having this discussion for quite a while. It is expected that new crypto legislation would be introduced in the country this fall.

A leading official of the Russian central bank disclosed in May that more than half of the financial pyramid schemes that they had identified in the country in the first half of 2022 were related to cryptocurrencies.

A bill was introduced in the lower house of the Russian parliament called State Duma back in June, which was aimed at implementing penalties on those who issue digital assets without authorization. Anatoly Aksakov, the Finance Market Committee’s chairman, had filed the draft law. The chair has proven to be quite active in terms of crypto regulation activity in Russia. He wants to see quick progress in this regard, even though the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has been opposed to cryptocurrencies from the beginning.