Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs officials accepted both bitcoin and ethereum as bribes from a crypto exchange director. The total value would be $53.2 million, a major newspaper in the country claimed this week.

Cryptocurrency as a bribe

According to Kommersant, the officials were named Georgy Satyukov and Dmitry Sokolov, employees of “one of the most secret departments of the ministry.” The media (and also major Telegram channels) claim that the duo is involved Bureau of Special Technical Events worked. This department has its own code name: ‘Department K’.

According to reports, they received the bribes in the period between March 19, 2021 and October of that year.

Russia’s Interior Ministry shocked by bribery allegations. Department K reportedly investigated the collapsed crypto exchange BTC-e.

Alexander Vinnik, founder of BTC-e, founded the company from 2011 to 2017. He was arrested in Greece in 2017 on charges of fraud and money laundering. It later became clear that crypto exchange WEX was affiliated with BTC-e.

Law enforcement officials now say that Wex director Alexey Ivanov offered the bitcoin and ethereum to Satyukov and Sokolov. It would have been a total of 2,200 BTC and more than 10,000 ETH.

Kommersant writes that the duo was arrested ‘in absentia’ after fleeing the country. An unnamed source said they were living in Dubai, with one living in an apartment in the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world.

The media outlet said that investigators “learned from Ivanov about the alleged corruption in the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.”


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