Russia Inquiry Committee Wants to Have Right to Hold Cryptocurrencies and Freeze Wallets

The Russian Investigation Committee has asked the government to allow the agency to seize cryptocurrencies and freeze wallets.

Investigation Committee in Russia Wants to Have the Right to Store Cryptocurrencies and Freeze Wallets Difficulty Investigating Cryptocurrency Cases by the Russian Investigative Committee

In an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta media company, the chairman of the committee, Alexander Bastrykin, said that the “decentralized nature of the issue” of “digital currencies” currently does not allow “state control”, full control in this area.

Bastrykin states that in some specific cases, law enforcement agencies may use existing laws to seize and freeze coins, as they do with bank accounts, cash and securities.

But decentralization is a thorn in the hands of agents and officers who are trying to do it, the chairman said. Usually, in cases with “special legal status”, officials are forced to seek help from cryptographic companies to transfer funds to government wallets during legal proceedings.

Investigative Committee in Russia wants to have the right to store cryptocurrencies and freeze wallets

In just nine months in 2021, the Commission of Inquiry said it had considered 331 such cases with “special legal status.”

However, in order to be able to control crypto files more effectively in such cases, according to Bastrykin, officials should be able to “transfer” tokens from the control of the accused to “under the control of the state” in a criminal case.

He said this could be done “by amending the criminal law” so that the court could order a person to transfer the cryptocurrency “to a special crypto account.” He suggested that failure to comply was a criminal offense.

Across the border in the west, the head of the Ukrainian cyber regulator called for the “legalization” of cryptocurrencies earlier this year and said it would give police more options to investigate.

According to the network administrator, the entire online black market uses cryptocurrencies. When coins remain in gray jurisdictions in Ukraine (as in the case of Russia), officials complain that their hands are often tied in criminal proceedings related to cryptocurrency transactions.