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Grodno hacker steals money from foreign bank accounts to buy bitcoins

Society 12.11.2019 | 11:28
An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 12 November (BelTA) – The Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Belarus is looking into the theft of money from foreign bank accounts. The target of the investigation, a 28-year-old Grodno resident, used the stolen money to buy bitcoins, BelTA learned from the Information and Public Relations Department of the Investigative Committee.

The money was stolen in 2012-2016. “The investigators found out that the crime was committed by a 28-year-old Grodno resident. The investigation was facilitated by the information exchange between the Investigative Committee of Belarus and the FBI of the United States of America and joint search and investigative efforts with the Internal Affairs Ministry,” the Investigative Committee informed.

The police searched the man's property and seized computers, data storage devices protected by sophisticated passwords, as well as money and documents. According to the investigators, the accused transferred funds to fictitious bank accounts to cash them in later. In addition to that, the investigation team determined several counts of using payment information of other people's bank cards to purchase goods and services. “The stolen money was used to buy bitcoins. In addition to that, he purchased a car and invested money in real estate and his own business – a cafe,” the Investigative Committee informed.

At the initial stage of the investigation, the police established over 60 counts of illegal actions of the accused. There were 94 bitcoins on his virtual wallets. The man was charged with serious cybercrime (Article 212, Part 4 of the Criminal Code). He was taken into custody.

“The man pleaded guilty on all counts. During the preliminary investigation he concluded a plea bargain and undertook efforts to compensate the damage and return the illegally obtained funds. The man gave access to his cryptocurrency wallets to enable law enforcement to withdraw bitcoins and to sequester the funds equivalent to over €630,000. In addition to that, the investigators sequestered other funds, property and real estate of the accused to the tune of over €100,000,” the Investigative Committee informed.

The investigation will be continued.

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