© Reuters. Two Venezuelans and 5 Russians accused of using cryptocurrency to facilitate trade in oil and military technology
Today, the United States announced the removal of a Russian-Venezuelan network that was using Tether (USDT) to trade outside the traditional banking structure, thus evading international sanctions.
One of the most discussed geopolitical scenarios for cryptocurrencies is their ability to evade traditional financial restraints imposed by global powers against their adversaries, but this solution is becoming increasingly difficult to implement.
A few hours ago, the US Department of Justice announced that it was filing charges against five Russians and two Venezuelan nationals who are accused of maintaining a global money laundering, smuggling and trafficking network with sanctioned companies, in particular the Venezuelan state-owned company, Petróleos de Venezuela.
According to a press release, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York has filed 12 counts against Russian nationals Yuri Orekhov, Svetlana Kozorgacheva, Artem Uss, Timofey Telegin, Sergey Tuliakov, and Venezuelans Juan Fernando Serrano and Juan Carlos Soto.
For both the Justice Department, Serrano and Soto facilitated the trade of hundreds of millions of barrels of oil that were subsequently shipped to Russian and Chinese buyers through the mediation of Orekhov and the United States. Meanwhile, Orekhov and Kozorgacheva have been accused of smuggling military technology to Russia in violation of US interests.
The document shows that the Russians used several intermediary companies to facilitate the payments. In addition, they made several transfers of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency to avoid penalties.
Orekhov told an accomplice: “Don’t worry, no pressure. As soon as we start mooring, we will transfer immediately. USDT works as fast as SMS.”
The case is under the responsibility of the bureau’s National Security and Cybercrime Division. Assistant US Attorney Artie McConnell is in charge of the prosecution. The arrests and charges were the result of a joint effort between US, German and Italian law enforcement agencies.
Russia, Venezuela and Ukraine: Digital Currencies Enter the Scene PDVSA was sanctioned during the Donald Trump administration along with the country’s official digital currency, the Petro.
As a result of the sanctions, the United States has effectively eliminated the possibility of Venezuela having normal trade relations with any country in the world.
Under the sanctions, the United States has effectively prevented Venezuela from having normal trade relations with most of the world as anyone who trades with the oil company is exposed to an inability to maintain trade relations with the North American power, as well as other physical confrontation. and financial consequences.
This political move generated losses for Venezuela in the range of 240 billion, according to sources reported by Venezuelan media.
Meanwhile, sanctions against Russia have intensified after the invasion of Ukraine. The use of cryptocurrencies played an important role in this war, as Ukraine was able to receive nearly $100 million allowing it to buy military equipment, including bulletproof vests and heat masks, food for the troops, communication devices, and medicine.
Similarly, Russian militias have received cryptocurrency donations to support their cause albeit in smaller amounts — and lawmakers around the world have joined forces to prevent Russia from being able to use cryptocurrency to its advantage in the same way that Ukraine has.
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