The Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service and the United States FBI confiscated cryptocurrency mixer Sinbad as part of a global illegal enforcement probe.
According to a release issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury on November 29, Sinbad has been sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on the grounds that it is allegedly acting as a money laundering conduit for the notorious North Korean hacking group Lazarus Group.
As to the Federal agency, Sinbad handled millions of cryptocurrency assets for the Lazarus Group. The hackers took use of these assets from several protocols, such as the $100 million theft from Horizon Bridge and the $625 million attack on Ronin Bridge.
As stated in the announcement, “Cybercriminals also use Sinbad to obfuscate transactions linked to malign activities such as drug trafficking, sanctions evasion, the purchase of child sexual abuse materials, and additional illicit sales on darknet marketplaces.”
The Treasury Department’s action is a result of its starting to take legal action against malevolent actors that assist cybercriminals such as Lazarus Group in hiding assets that have been stolen.
Following Tornado Cash’s sanction in August 2022, Sinbad is the third cryptocurrency mixer that the Feds have taken. Mixer, the first cryptocurrency mixer to be apprehended by law authorities, was sanctioned by the OFAC in May 2022.
Such crypto-mixing service providers would suffer severe repercussions if they allow criminal actors to launder stolen crypto assets, according to Wally Adeyemo, the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.
“All available tools will be utilized by the Treasury Department and its U.S. government partners to stop virtual currency mixers such as Sinbad from aiding illegal activities,” stated Adeyemo. We will not hold back from taking legal action against unscrupulous operators, even as we support responsible innovation in the ecosystem of digital assets.
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