US Treasury Pushes Enforcement Action Against Yet Another Crypto Exchange

Department of Treasury, USA has taken enforcement action against another crypto platform on the allegations of facilitation offered to ransomware criminals who, according to the Treasury, were conducting financial transactions from the platform. Consequently, the platform has been shut down through Department of Justice (DOJ) and sanctions too have been imposed upon the malicious actors while US$ 6.1 Million in cash have been seized off.

On 8th November, 2021, Treasury Department of the US informed that another ransomware facilitator has been identified. The Department informed that yet again, the facilitator was an exchange involved in the business of crypto. On the basis of the information supplied by Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) the perpetrators of financial crimes were identified. Immediately, by the order of Treasury Department, the crypto trading platform was sealed and refrained from doing any business. In the meantime, the persons associated with the platform have been advised not to leave the country.

The Department informed through an official statement that Chatex was the crypto firm which has been sanctioned. The Department noted that the platform’s services were being utilizing in majority by ransomware criminals. They were using the platform for carrying out their financial transactions of the money they had obtained as ransom payments. Resultantly, both the perpetrators were actively involved in carrying out financial crimes, said the Treasury Department.

The Treasury Department further noted that half of the transactions done from Chatex were directly linked with ransomwares. While the rest of the transactions were proceeds from businesses executed through Darknet. In addition, the Department claimed that Chatex was a direct partner of Russian illegal firm “Suex”. During the course of operation against Chatex, the Department also got hands on two ransomware attackers. The two persons’ names were Yaroslav Vaniskyi, who is a Ukrainian and Yevgeniy Polyanin, who is a Russian. While sanctioning Chatex, the Department also sanctioned the two individuals on the allegations of their involvement in financial crimes. From their possession, an amount of US$ 6.1 Million too has been seized off.

It was suggested by Treasury Department that both the individuals were the prime perpetrators of Sodinokibi and/or Revil attacks of ransomware. Collectively, both of them had received approximately US$ 200 Million which money was paid to them in the form of Bitcoins.

In the meanwhile the Treasury Department has asked DOJ to take up the matter from there onwards. DOJ has been advised to keep an eye on both individuals so that they cannot escape the country. In the meanwhile, DOJ has been authorized to carry out a thorough property inspection of the two accused. It has been directed that if any properties belonging to both accused are found in the US, then they should be taken into custody. On the other hand US citizens have been warned not to conduct any transactions through Chatex.