Russia Arrests Three For Shady Bitcoin Transfersbr>
Three businessmen have been arrested by Russian police for illegally trading in 500 million rubles of bitcoin worth $9 million USD. It is the first criminal case in Russia involving bitcoin sales.
The three face a charge of “illegal banking,” and came to light when authorities were alerted to unusual activity in certain bank accounts. Further investigation revealed 300 bank cards and SIM cards were used to store bitcoins and then shifted into different accounts owned by family members of the accused. Russians cannot legally transfer bitcoin into rubles.
The arrests come at a sensitive time for Russia, which is struggling with its transition into the digital currency economy. The large transactions involving possible money-laundering will certainly fuel lingering concerns about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies among skeptics, who worry that criminal activities and tax avoidance are the primary market.