The owner of a cryptocurrency wallet blocked last week for donations for the war in Ukraine turned out to be Russian arms manufacturer Vladislav Lobaev. This is reported by CoinDesk with reference to the representative of the Russian and blockchain analysis data.
Lobaev collected donations through his own Telegram channel. His private firm, Lobaev Arms, manufactures rifles and other military ammunition. He supported the Russian military invasion of Ukraine and purchased ammunition for the Russian troops with the funds received.
Screenshot from Lobaev's Telegram channel. Data: CoinDesk.
According to the analytical company Crystal Blockchain, all addresses published by Lobaev belong to the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.
After Ukrainian law enforcement discovered the fundraising activity, they likely convinced the exchange to freeze the account.
More than 800,000 hryvnias ($21,700) have flowed into Lobaev’s wallets since the end of April:
#PeckShieldAlert Wallets Lobaev listed for fundraising received ~6.4 $BTC, ~3.25 $ETH and ~840 $USDT
~3.15 $ETH & 730 $USDT already transferred to Binance https://t.co/bkWdravnnl pic.twitter.com/DIp2x3bBbC
— PeckShieldAlert (@PeckShieldAlert) September 1, 2022
A Binance spokesperson declined to discuss ownership of said cryptocurrency wallets.
“Any government or law enforcement agency in the world may make lawful inquiries against users in their jurisdiction, provided that they are accompanied by appropriate legal powers,” he said.
At the same time, Binance noted that it has the right to reject law enforcement requests that do not withstand legal scrutiny.
CoinDesk contacted Lobaev via a feedback bot in his Telegram channel and received a response from a person who introduced himself as Lobaev’s son – Eugene. He confirmed that the account of his «father» on Binance is frozen.
He also shared a screenshot of a chat with the exchange's support team. It states that the account has been “locked out for review”.
When asked how he managed to cash out the cryptocurrencies from the Binance account, “Evgeny Lobaev” said that he used over-the-counter brokers.
He added that cryptocurrencies made up a “small part” of all incoming donations. Lobaev also uses the Russian payment service Yoomoney and a Sberbank account.
According to analysts from Chanalysis, since February 2022, at least 54 different groups from the Russian Federation have been raising funds to finance a military invasion of Ukraine. At the end of July, their wallets received a total of $2.2 million in various digital currencies.
Earlier, ForkLog reported that the Aid For Ukraine crypto fund raised $54 million to help Ukraine. The Ministry of Digital Development presented a detailed report on the spending of funds.
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