Garantex commented on the statement of Elliptic blockchain analysts

Garantex commented on the statement of Elliptic blockchain analysts

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Author: Robert Strickland (crypto-journalist)
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Garantex commented on Elliptic blockchain analysts' statement

The Russian-oriented crypto exchange blocked addresses related to the Atomic Wallet hack, saying that foreign analytical platforms themselves refuse to cooperate in solving crimes

Crypto-exchange Garantex commented on the statement of analytical service Elliptic, which claims that the exchange conducted transactions with funds stolen during the hacking of cryptocurrency wallet Atomic Wallet. A representative of the platform told that all accounts related to the incident have now been blocked, and the exchange is ready to cooperate with law enforcement.

Garantex is registered in Estonia but focuses mainly on the customer base in Russia. The platform's website in the "contacts" section lists its address in Moscow City, Federation Tower.

Atomic Wallet, a centralized cryptocurrency wallet service, was hacked in early June. Digital assets worth about $35 million were stolen from users. Elliptic's blockchain analysts insist that North Korean hackers from Lazarus Group were behind the asset theft

The analytics company traced the path of the stolen cryptocurrencies and claimed that its proactive actions led many crypto platforms to block addresses associated with the Atomic hack, but the hackers "turned to OFAC-sanctioned exchange Garantex."

OFAC sanctioned Garantex in April 2022 at the same time as the darknet marketplace Hydra, calling Russia a cybercriminal paradise. OFAC said that the exchange, operated from the Federation Tower in Moscow City, was "deliberately ignoring its obligations" to combat money laundering and terrorist financing

If Elliptic really wanted to prevent further transactions of the high-risk cryptocurrency they identified - it would have notified Garantex before issuing a press release, said Garantex communications director

The classic "back-dated" blockchain markup (that is, alerting the market to the risk of a transaction after the cryptocurrency has changed multiple wallets) is now underway, she said, which helps with investigations but does not help prevent illicit transactions.

"We urge international analytical services to cooperate with us in suppressing such transactions at the earliest stages. Alas, there is no such practice now: Russian companies are directly refused or their offers of cooperation are ignored," says Burova.

Garantex has a strict AML (AML/CFT) policy, and no marked transaction leaves quarantine, the exchange representative explained. In addition, the platform carries out KYC procedures in accordance with international FATF recommendations, so all the accounts involved in the situation under discussion are verified and are currently blocked, and Garantex is ready to provide law enforcement authorities with all the information it has for investigation upon request.

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