Russian cryptocurrency exchanges based in Moscow City are reportedly able to transfer money abroad to London without following proper know-your-customer (KYC) procedures and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, according to a report from Transparency International Russia.
The report states that over 20 coin trading platforms operating from Moscow City were identified, with eight of them willing to exchange US dollar-pegged stablecoins for British pounds and hand over the cash to recipients in London. None of the Russian platforms verified the identity of Transparency’s undercover representatives, despite the amounts of money exceeding GBP 10,000 (USD 12,000), as required by UK anti-money laundering regulations.
The report highlighted that one of the exchanges was Suex, a crypto broker previously blacklisted by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for facilitating ransomware-linked transactions. Additionally, another platform called Pridechange sent significant amounts of money to Garantex, another blacklisted exchange with offices in Moscow City.
According to the report, the wallets used for these transfers saw an average monthly turnover ranging between USD 420,000 and USD 470,000, taking into account only the USDT turnover, although USDC was also utilized. The study highlights that while the extent of this illicit activity may be unknown, it warrants more careful examination.