In a statement issued by the US Treasury Department, it was reported that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added cryptocurrency mixer Sinbad, which served as an important money laundering vehicle for the Lazarus Group, to its sanctions list.
The statement said Sinbad processed millions of dollars worth of virtual currency from the Lazarus Group’s heists, and Mixer was also used by cybercriminals to hide transactions related to malicious activities such as evading sanctions, drug trafficking, purchasing child sexual abuse materials, and sales. Illegal markets on the dark web.
The statement said that Sinbad’s punishment was based on previous measures aimed at exposing the systems used by malicious Internet actors to hide the origins and destinations of proceeds from their illicit activities.
Adeyemo: We are ready to use all the tools at our disposal
US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Wally Adeyemo, whose assessments were included in the statement, stressed that mixing services that allow criminal actors such as the Lazarus Group to launder stolen assets will face serious consequences.
Noting that the Treasury Department and US government partners are ready to use all tools at their disposal to prevent virtual money mixers like Sinbad from facilitating illegal activities, Adeyemo stated that they will not hesitate to take action against illegal actors in the digital assets ecosystem.
Call for regulation by Congress
On the other hand, the US Treasury shared Adeyemo’s speech at the Blockchain Association’s 2023 Policy Summit.
Adeyemo noted that the government and the traditional financial sector are working in partnership to prevent the movement of illegal revenues, recalling that a regulatory framework has been put in place in this context.
Adeyemo stressed the need for those working in the digital assets industry to do the same, and noted that this sector has the potential to create new tools to help prevent money laundering.
Adeyemo stated that the ministry submitted proposals to the US Congress yesterday to expand its powers and resources to pursue illegal actors in the field of digital assets. “First and foremost, we aim to create new enforcement tools for actors in the digital asset ecosystem that allow Congress to create a secondary sanctions regime that not only isolates any company from the US financial system, but also places any company that continues to do business with the US,” he added. “The United States is at risk.” The sanctioned entity is at risk of being cut off from the US financial system.