Russian policemen seize 22 Bitcoin ATMs in national Crackdown


The abrupt and unexpected seizure of 22 Bitcoin ATMs scattered across nine Russian cities will mark the beginning of a wider crackdown of cryptocenter?

Illegal search and seizure of ATMs Bitcoin

Until Friday, August 31, BBFpro managed a modest Bitcoin ATM service across Russia. Thus, without warning or explanation, all 22 ATMs were confiscated with notice or warning.

When asked about the kidnapping, BBFpro's CEO Artem Bedarev told the local media agency RBC that the order came from the attorney general's office of Russia, adding:

I was told verbally that the inspection would take at least six months and that the ATMs would not be returned until it was finished.

BBFpro had 22 machines scattered in nine cities and Bedarev found it odd that each of them had been collected almost simultaneously.

Following a further investigation, the representatives of the Russian Bank remained rather tight-lipped but took note that regulators are "conducting a systematic work to detect and prevent illegal activities in the financial market". The same representatives also insinuated that the conversion of digital resources and the possibility of uncontrolled cross-border money transfers could be used to finance a series of illegal financial activities.

BBFpro Legal Representative and Attorney at the Center for Digital Rights, Sarkis Darbinyan said,

There is no ban on the purchase of cryptocurrency in current legislation. The company complies with all the procedures established by law, pays taxes and also identifies users despite the absence of these mandatory requirements.

Beginning of a Crypto-Crackdown?

Apparently, authorities require details of standing BBFpro tax, exchange rate details and processes related to the know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) that the company applies.

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The repression comes also since the Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service perfects plans for the development of a system for monitoring cryptocurrency collectors linked to particular individuals and organizations.

Given Darbinyan's statement that BBFpro is legally compliant In all respects, Bedarev intends to appeal to the seizure since the debacle has caused "costs of reputation and direct economic damage".

Will Russia follow the strict Chinese policy on cryptocommercium? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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