The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has launched criminal proceedings in the case of money laundering via electronic payment systems prohibited in the country.

Cryptocurrencies and Russian payment systems

The General Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine suspects the employees of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine of establishing a criminal organization and using their authority to launder large amounts of money using electronic payment systems and cryptocurrencies.

“During the pre-trial investigation, we found witnesses of illegal activities aimed at legalizing illegally-obtained incomes on a large scale by making transactions abroad using cryptocurrency and electronic payment systems prohibited in Ukraine (Qiwi, WebMoney, Yandex Money) and other financial instruments. Furthermore, in such schemes, they appealed to a type of business projects in which methods similar to those used in “financial pyramids” were used, and citizens were involved in building referral programs,” the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine said in a statement.

According to it, searches were already conducted on the territory of Kiev and Vinnytsia region.

Ukraine at the crossroads

The authorities of Ukraine have not yet decided on a regulatory attitude towards cryptocurrency. In September, Deputy Minister of Finance of Ukraine Sergey Verlanov compared bitcoin with World of Tanks.

“While cryptocurrencies don’t have a legal status, we should categorize them according to existing legislature. According to the Civil Code of Ukraine, this is the thing of non-material world. My favorite comparison is a tank in World of Tanks. We bought a tank for 100 UAH, upgraded it and sold it for 2 thousand UAH. This is a similar story,” said Sergey Verlanov, Deputy Minister of Finance of Ukraine, in an interview.

Additionally, the State Border Service of Ukraine repeatedly reported about cases of seizure of mining equipment at the checkpoints on the border with unrecognized Donbass region. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, cryptocurrency is the main funding mechanism for separatists in Donbass.