Russian Darknet Criminals Sell Fake Banknotes for Crypto

Russian authorities have arrested a group of online criminals who have allegedly sold massive amounts of fake banknotes for crypto on the dark web.

08 April, 2020 | AtoZ Markets – The criminal group managed to sell more than a billion fake Russian rubles, worth approximately $ 13 million. As the country's Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that, the criminals were counterfeiting currency through a darknet store in Russia's largest darknet market, Hydra.

Hydra is a dark web resource that can only access through the Tor browser, which hides the user's IP address. Thus, the police couldn't discover all the accomplices, and some are still known today only by their online nickname.

Fake Bank of Russia on Darknet

According to the report, the store operated under the name of Bank of Russia. It is an alternative title of the country's central bank, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Authorities have reportedly highlighted the high quality of the counterfeit notes.

The report also noted that the criminal group has been active for about a year, selling fake Russian banknotes on the darknet in exchange for crypto. During this period, the criminal group successfully completed more than 3,000 transactions.
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The high-quality bills printed in Nizhny Novgorod (Russian city) and then sold through the darknet to "practically all regions" in Russia. According to the report, small lots of counterfeit currencies sold for 30% of their face value. But counterfeit bulk notes (from $ 6,500) offered for only 10 to 15%.

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Several arrests have made in connection with this case. Two residents of the Nizhny Novgorod region suspected of having printed the counterfeit notes. One is a 25-year-old woman from Moscow, and another one is a man of the same age in a Moscow suburb. They admitted, they have established and maintained the store on Hydra. Police identified numerous other suspects spread across nearly 30 Russian regions.

The suspects also include people who bought counterfeit currency from the organizers of the counterfeit network. The police said, most of the suspects, including the central organizers, have pleaded guilty. Investigators are continuing charges of participating in a criminal group and counterfeiting currency.

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