All about the latest sanctions placed by the US OFAC on these BTC addresses
- The US Treasury Department sanctioned three individuals for their links to the DPRK regime
- These individuals in some way helped the regime launder stolen/illicit cryptocurrencies
The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a sanction against three individuals connected to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Two individuals, Wu Huihui, and Cheng Hung Man, were sanctioned for their connection to the infamous hacking group – Lazarus Group.
In relation to this, the OFAC sanctioned multiple cryptocurrency addresses. Most of these were Bitcoin [BTC] addresses, while the other addresses include Ethereum [ETH], Arbitrum [ARB], and BNB Smart Chain [BSC]. The OFAC sanctioned around 17 BTC addresses and one ETH, ARB, and BSC address.
Read Bitcoin’s [BTC] Price Prediction 2023-2024
OFAC sanctions individuals for helping DPRK launder stolen crypto
Notably, the Lazarus Group is the same group that carried out a successful attack against Ronin Network, linked to Axie Infinity. This had cost the network a whopping $620 million. Huihui provided material support for the hacking group, while Hung Man assisted Huihui.
Particularly, Huihui, located in China, helped DPRK by converting stolen cryptocurrencies to fiat currency. While the exact amount wasn’t mentioned, the Treasury stated that this conversion amounted to millions of dollars.
Moreover, all the BTC addresses sanctioned by the OFAC belong to Huihui. None of these addresses held any BTC; their last activity was either in 2021 or 2022.
Hung Man, based in Hong Kong, executed payments with firms in exchange for cryptocurrencies. The press release on his activity read,
“Cheng worked with Wu and other virtual currency OTC traders who facilitate conversion of virtual currency stolen by DPRK hackers into fiat currency for use by the DPRK government.”
Meanwhile, the third person – Sim Hyon Sop – was listed in the sanctions list for facilitating “millions of dollars in financial transfers for the DPRK. ” The blog post stated that Hyon Sop received cryptocurrencies from DPRK individuals fraudulently working in foreign nations.
This money would then be sent to OTC traders like Huihui and Hung Man in order to transfer them to “front companies”. Furthermore, the money, ultimately, would be used to buy goods for the DPRK government.
The US Treasury Department further said,
“all property and interests in property of the persons named above that are in the United States, or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.”