Ruble: Russian law enforcement has detained a group of online cybercriminals who were allegedly sold massive amounts of fake banknotes on the dark web in exchange for Cryptocurrencies. According to one of the Russian news agency reports on April 7th, the online group sold more than 1 billion counterfeit Russian rubles which are estimated to be around $13 million as of press time. As the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs reported to a news agency in Russia, the online cybercriminals exchanged counterfeit currency in return for Cryptocurrency via a darknet store on Russia’s largest darknet marketplace, Hydra. According to the report the store used the “Bank of Russia” name which is an alternate name of the country’s Central Bank. The name of the Central Bank is the “Central Bank of the Russian Federation”. The report stated that the counterfeit notes that were peddled by the online perpetrators were of high quality and were almost exact replicas of the actual Russian ruble.
Image Source: news.bitcoin.com/
The report that was published by the Russian news agency also stated that the online group was active for more than 1 year and have been selling duplicate Russian currency (ruble) in exchange for Cryptocurrency. The fake banknotes were first spotted in the Republic of Tatarstan. The banknotes have now been spread to different regions across Russia. The report also said that the currencies that were traded in exchange for Cryptocurrency through the Darknet marketplace Hydra. The notes were sold in small batches, which was 30% of their nominal value. While the bulk counterfeit notes were sold (starting from $6,500) were up for grabs for just 10-15% of the nominal value.
Image Source: en.trend.az/
The Russian Interior Ministry, however, acknowledged the fact that this is the first such case that has taken place in the country. But Russia is not the first country that has faced this troublesome case of money counterfeiting involving Cryptocurrency. A similar case was encountered by the Portuguese in September 2019. The operation was carried out by the Portuguese police and Europol jointly, where they had recovered funds worth nearly $80,000 from counterfeit operators who also were involved in trading Cryptocurrencies (BTC) in exchange for liquid cash.
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