In its “Pandora Papers,” the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) identified significant crypto criminals among those exposed for funnelling monies into clandestine tax havens.
One of the firms was identified as handling offshore assets belonging to a so-called “Bitcoin czar sentenced for money laundering in connection with the largest cyberheist in history,” according to an ICIJ document released on Oct. 3 summarizing the organization’s findings from its Pandora Papers investigation.
The Pandora Papers are a 2.94 terabyte data collection including 11.9 million records from 14 offshore service companies. The records purport to reveal the secret assets of over 330 politicians and high-ranking government employees from 90 countries, including 35 country leaders and over 130 billionaires.
The assets of “bankers, large political donors, arms dealers, international criminals, pop stars, espionage chiefs, and athletic giants” can also be found among the documents, according to the ICIJ.
While the “Bitcoin czar” mentioned in the Pandora Papers isn’t named, their sentencing in connection with the world’s largest cyberheist narrows the field of possibilities.
Carbanak’s operations have been described as unprecedented in scope and value by reporters, with the cybergang estimated to have stolen more than $1.24 billion from financial institutions and enterprises in over 100 countries between 2013 and 2017.
While two of the six people have been jailed for their roles in Carbanak, the circumstances surrounding the 2018 arrest of Denis Tokarenko (also known as Denis Katana), the alleged leader of Carbanak, imply he could be the person named in the Pandora Papers.
According to a Bloomberg Businessweek article describing Tokarenko’s arrest in March 2018, Spanish National Police discovered 15,000 Bitcoin (BTC) in the hacker’s possession, valued at $162 million at the time.
Tokarenko also used a Bitcoin mining operation purchased in China to launder his stolen assets into BTC, according to Carlos Yuste, chief inspector of the Spanish National Police’s cybercrime centre.
Many commentators have dubbed the 2016 Bangladesh Bank cyberheist, in which hackers stole about $1 billion from a Bangladeshi central bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the greatest digital robbery in history.
However, to yet, only former Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation employee Maia Santos Deguito has been imprisoned for the cyberheist, and a Cointelegraph investigation has found no sources linking Deguito to crypto assets.