Authorities in Belarus dominated the seizure of cryptocurrencies, the head of the country’s Investigative Committee revealed in a recent interview. High-ranking law enforcement official claims the state has already seized millions of dollars worth of crypto assets.
Firms Allegedly Help Belarusian Government With Cryptocurrency Seizure
Belarus had to deal with the challenge of how to seize cryptocurrencies when they were first used in drug trafficking and later in economic crimes, Dmitry Gora, who heads the nation’s Investigative Committee, told the state-run ONT channel. He added that law enforcement agencies had to find a way to seize such digital assets and have already seized cryptocurrencies worth hundreds of millions of Belarusian rubles (millions of US dollars).
The former Soviet republic, a close ally of Russia, legalized various crypto activities with a presidential decree that took effect in May 2018. The document introduced tax breaks and other incentives for crypto companies operating as residents of the high-tech park ( HTP). in Minsk as part of efforts to develop the country’s digital economy.
In March 2021, President Alexander Lukashenko hinted at a possible tightening of the country’s crypto regulations, referring to the example of China. However, HTP officials later insisted that the Belarusian authorities had no intention of adopting stricter rules for the industry. Additionally, the Ministry of Finance proposed amendments to allow investment funds to acquire digital assets.
In April this year, the Ministry of Justice adopted a legal procedure that allows the seizure of crypto funds as part of enforcement proceedings. It implements another Lukashenko decree from February that ordered the establishment of a special registry for crypto wallets used for illicit purposes.
Dmitry Gora went on to quote his “advanced minions”, saying that cryptocurrency was just “digital garbage”. “Based on this, I set myself the task: our state needs money to compensate for the damage caused. Let’s think about how to make money with garbage. I am not going to go into details, but we have learned how to do it… There are mechanisms that allow us to deal with these issues and quite successfully”, he explained.
The executive in charge of enforcing the law pointed out that both government agencies and commercial organizations are involved in the process. As a result, “the amounts that are already in the form of good and normal money are in the accounts of the Investigative Committee,” Gora said.
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