This morning, Russian-language crypto-Blockchain news resource ForkLog reported that media firm is being harassed by Ukrainian law enforcement officials. On December 15, agents from the Ukrainian Security Service (SSU) searched both Anatoly Kaplan’s apartment and the Forklog offices in Odessa for an alleged association with U.S. nationals committing criminal activities.
ForkLog alleges that members of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) plus two witnesses arrived at Kaplan’s flat in Odessa on Friday morning with a warrant. A search ensued, and the SSU officers left taking some of Kaplan’s personal belongings including “several pieces of equipment used to store cryptocurrencies, a notebook and other items.”
The declared reason for the raid, according to the publication, was existing allegations against a group of people from the US and Ukraine involved in a scheme to steal funds from third-party payments. According to the SSU, the suspects were exchanging Bitcoin for Ukrainian Hryvnia “with the help of the internet-resource ForkLog.”
ForkLog insists that none of the entities named in authorities’ search warrant “were related to ForkLog or to its founder.” SSU’s claim also seemingly contradicts the fact that ForkLog is a media/ information resource that does not offer exchange services, and the magazine insists they in no way “helped” in such a process.
Moreover one of the SSU agents tried to transfer some of Mr. Kaplan’s bitcoin funds to another address during the search. According to Mr. Kaplan, the only reason the agent stopped is because his lawyer called, and threatened the agents with robbery charges. However, the officials still confiscated Mr. Kaplan’s devices, and the very next day a large sum of ethereum was transferred from Mr. Kaplan’s wallet to another address.
At the same time on Friday, ForkLog reports that a raid also took place in ForkLog’s Odessa office. The authorities confiscated the company’s cash, all of its hardware, and a bottle of Kraken rum.
Commenting on the larger implications of the incident, Kaplan stated:
“In my opinion, this situation directly illustrated one of the possible scenarios of the development of the interaction between the government and the cryptocurrency community, which is why we decided to make this case public. Because it is not so much about protecting my personal interests or the interests ForkLog, as much as about protecting the interests of the entire community. And this event is a warning to everyone involved with Blockchain technology, it doesn’t matter how public you are. We’re currently working with lawyers to release personal property. What is particularly strange is the practice of transferring cryptocurrencies to an address under the control of the SSU.”
“We are counting on the proper reaction of the authorities and the very prompt return of computers seized in the framework of the search. But the return of the cryptocurrency and the responsibility of the investigation team will be a significant and exemplary case. We plan to do this separately, “the lawyer of Anatoly Kaplan summed up.