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Investigation of criminal case against Belarus largest crypto exchange Bitok.me «reps» completed

09.08.2022
The Main Investigative Department has completed the investigation of a criminal case against three natives of the city of Lida, who intentionally assisted large-scale tax evasion to Vladislav Kuchinsky, the owner of an illegal crypto exchange Bitok.me (previously Bitok.by ).

For two years, Kuchinsky and his «representatives» implemented transactions to acquire and alienate digital signs (tokens), electronic money for cash and non-cash funds, as well as exchanging one tokens for another.

In total, the defendants committed almost 8 thousand transactions with tokens for a total amount exceeding USD 29 million.

The damage caused as a result of tax evasion was more than 9 million rubles.

When committing a crime, the accused used anonymization tools on the network, SIM cards registered to straw persons and accounts on foreign crypto platforms. This allowed them not to attract the attention of law enforcement officers for a long time and stay «in the shadows».

With the operational support of the Financial Investigations Department of the State control Committee, as a result of the operational search activities and investigative actions, all crime participants were identified, negotiations and meetings of the defendants with online service clients, as well as the facts of cash transfer and receipt, were recorded.

During the searches, computer equipment, media and documentation confirming the accused involvement in the crime commitment, were seized. Also, money in the amount of more than USD 280 thousand were seized. The largest customers of the online service who implemented exchange transactions in the amount of USD 50 thousand or more, were questioned.

The investigation identified accounts controlled by the accused in banking institutions of the Republic of Belarus and Georgia, on which there were almost 2 million rubles. The funds have been arrested.

Within the framework of international cooperation, with the assistance of the Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the city of Moscow, a copy of the online service database was obtained, during examination of which information about 2,000 clients was analyzed. The activities of these clients is under investigation by the criminal prosecution authority.

The investigation also found that the online service was used by third parties to commit fraudulent actions and finance extremist activities. Violators have been prosecuted in accordance with the legal provision.

After associates were taken into custody, Vladislav Kuchinsky, despite the criminal prosecution, continued to implement the above activities through the online service Bitok.me. He also resisted the investigation, including by taking measures to withdraw funds from controlled accounts, sending e-mails to service customers, in which he recommended ignoring calls to law enforcement agencies and adhering to a certain line of behavior when communicating with officers.

At present, Vladislav Kuchinsky is on the international wanted list. He is charged with committing a crime under Part 3 of Article 243 (large-scale tax evasion) of the Criminal Code of Belarus. He was remanded in custody in absentia.

The actions of accomplices are qualified under Part 6 of Article 16, Part 3 of Article 243 (complicity in large-scale tax evasion) of the Criminal Code of Belarus.

The Investigative Committee clarifies hereby that the activities of an online service Bitok.me not duly registered and not being a resident of the Hi-Tech Park of the Republic of Belarus is illegal, and also bear high risks of loss of financial assets of citizens.

Department of information and public relations