Last Friday, December 15 at 8:00, in a rented apartment of the founder of the largest Russian magazine about cryptocurrency and the blockchain ForkLog Anatoly Kaplan (Klimova) in Odessa included representatives of the main investigation Department of the security Service of Ukraine (SBU) with two witnesses and began a search.
The reason for the search was a criminal proceeding against a group of persons from the United States and Ukraine, which, according to the investigation, developed a criminal scheme to seize cash from the cardholder by third parties.
As stated by the SBU suspects, they carried out the «exchange of cryptocurrency bitcoin» on the Ukrainian hryvnia with the help of the Internet resource «Forcelog». They provided information by itself is not true because the functionality of enabling such exchange, on the website is missing, and no such «help» ForkLog never had. In addition, none of the document in the persons in no way associated with the activities ForkLog, nor with its founder, and no evidence to the contrary, the investigators did not provide.
During the search, the SBU seized several of the devices stored on them cryptocurrency, laptop and other personal belongings Anatoly Kaplan. This is one of the SBU attempted to withdraw bitcoins to your wallet directly during a search, that the lawyer Kaplan called the police and reported the alleged robbery and called the outfit. After that, attempts to bring bitcoins to your address stopped.
However, the next day after a search with Ethereum cryptocurrency wallet, which belonged to Kaplan, all the coins ETH has been transferred to the address, which, apparently, belongs to the SBU. In addition, according to Anatoly Kaplan, the evening of the same day, unidentified individuals attempted to shoot with his personal Bank card of 3000 hryvnia (about $ 110).
«In my opinion, this situation directly illustrates one of the possible scenarios of development of relations between the state and the cryptocurrency community, so we decided to make it public. Because it is not so much about protecting my personal interests or the interests ForkLog much about protecting the interests of the entire community. And this event is a warning to everyone associated with Baccano, it does not matter how you public.
At the moment we cooperate with lawyers in order to return the seized property. Especially strange is the practice of transferring cryptocurrency to addresses controlled by the SBU. In addition to the coins ETH, to the newly created purses have been translated and some other cryptocurrencies. The situation with bitcoin is not yet clear. During the search, my attorney identified a number of procedural violations, including termination of the video,» said Kaplan.
At the same time in the Odessa office ForkLog also began a search, which was confiscated cash of the company, all the equipment (of about ten devices iMac) and even a bottle of rum Kraken.
To protect the interests of the victim of the actions of the SBU founder ForkLog is a lawyer and managing partner of the Juscutum legal company Artem Afian. In his opinion, this incident is very important for the whole crypto community.
“Financial regulators can take a balanced and cautious stance, stating that they are not yet ready to give a definition of cryptocurrency. At the same time, Ukrainian law enforcement system is through active engagement demonstrates that cryptocurrency is quite a valuable asset for it to bust people. Usually before the New year there are searches involving the theft of jewelry stores, and the trend this season became the cryptocurrency.
The fact that the search is useless in the framework of the case under investigation, is out of the question. With the same success it would be possible to conduct a search in the office of the First national TV channel, claiming that they sell the arms, as a show about stories,” — said Artem Afian.
Also, according to him, special attention and appreciated the fact that the reason for the search was information at the request of the investigator, like the cryptocurrency exchanges made with the help of information resource Forklog.
«This is either gross incompetence or deliberate introduction of misleading on the part of the investigator. Such a search is common practice unreformed Ukrainian law-enforcement system in relation to any new business. IT-person has already experienced such familiarity with reality a few years ago, and now success of IT industry has made proud at the state level.
We expect a proper reaction of the authorities and the very prompt return of computers seized under search warrant. But the return of cryptocurrency and responsibilities of the investigation team will become significant and revealing case. This is what we plan to do separately,» — said the lawyer Anatoly Kaplan.
Recall that the boom of searches in the offices of IT companies and apartments private industry started back in 2015, when the country has left about 2,500 qualified professionals. One of the most notorious cases was the search in the apartment of the founder of the Kuna Bitcoin Agency, Mikhail Chobanyan, the reason for which was previously opened criminal proceedings on the fact of posting on the website kuna.com.ua information on the sale and purchase of bitcoin.
According to various sources, the loss of the IT sector because of the actions of the security forces totaled about $40 million, of which damage damage and seizure of property reached $9 million.
Due to the exponential growth of the cryptocurrency industry in 2017, the security Service of Ukraine started to carry out targeted raids on mining farm, although by law this activity is not prohibited. It is believed that the main duty of the SBU are national security issues, but the representatives of law enforcement agencies is also hunting for the miners, imputing to them crimes ranging from smuggling to the tax evasion. Despite the abundance of criminal procedure terminology, none of this proves the illegality of mining.