A citizen of Belarus will have to pay a large fine for illegally organizing an online cryptocurrency exchange. The law enforcement agencies of the country, where some crypto activities are legal, do not plan to apply any sanctions other than an administrative measure.
Crypto trader tries to challenge fine in Belarusian court
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus dismissed a Belarusian appeal against a decision of a court of first instance, which ordered him to pay the state 2,700,000 Belarusian rubles (approximately $1 million) for illegal negotiations on digital assets.
A man identified only by the letter “A” is accused of using Telegram messages to set up an online cryptocurrency exchange in January 2021. He allegedly earned 5,400,000 rubles as income from his illegal activities.
According to a report by the Ministry of Taxes and Dues of Belarus, quoted by cryptocurrency news site Bits.media, investigators were able to trace his transactions and submit the collected evidence to court. The fine was imposed by the Minsk Economic Court.
The ministry believes that the decision to confiscate half of the income is correct, since the court could oblige him to part with the entire amount. Although the trader did not dispute the illegal nature of his activities, he was dissatisfied with the size of the fine and decided to file a complaint with a higher court, which upheld the original decision.
Belarus legalized activities related to cryptocurrencies, such as mining and trading, with a decree signed by President Alexander Lukashenko that came into force in 2018, provided they are carried out by persons registered under the regime. and tax.
However, the government is cracking down on illegal cryptocurrency transactions. Last May, the head of the Investigative Committee reported that law enforcement agencies across the country had successfully seized millions of US dollars worth of crime-related digital assets.
In August, Belarusian authorities issued an international arrest warrant for the owner of “the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bitok.me.” After a two-year investigation into Vladislav Kuchinsky and three of his accomplices, he was charged with large-scale tax evasion.