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Ban of anonymous payment systems may sap drug crime’s economic base - official

February 10, 2014, 14:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On January 27, the Bank of Russia announced bitcoins /an anonymous payment system/ illegal as being a money surrogate, which may not be distributed in the territory of Russia
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MOSCOW, February 10 /ITAR-TASS/. The ban of anonymous payment systems may sap the economic base for drug-related crimes, Vyacheslav Davydov of the Moscow branch of Russia’s drug control authority /FSKN/ says.

“Now, we have seen a rise in organized distant drug trade in the recent years. We are unable to follow that chain at the stage of payment. It is very problematic to identify the payment recipient,” Davydov said.

He said the authority was focused on fighting money laundering.

“Without undermining the economic basis, it would be impossible to overcome the drug addiction… Last year, we investigated seven million crimes … worth 220 million roubles ($6.3 mln.),” he said.

On January 27, the Bank of Russia announced bitcoins /an anonymous payment system/ illegal as being a money surrogate, which may not be distributed in the territory of the Russian Federation in complicance with the current legislation. The central bank says the operations, where Russian companies are involved in services to exchange virtual currencies for roubles and foreign currencies as well as for goods, will be considered as potential involvement in suspicious operations.

On February 6, at the Prosecutor General’s Office experts of the central bank, the interior ministry and the federal security service said bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies cause risks of breaching people’s property rights and thus cannot be used by the Russian Federation’s citizens or organisations.

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