Sentenced ‘Bitcoin czar’ named among Pandora Papers

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has identified a major cryptocurrency criminal among those who were exposed to have funneled money into shadowy tax havens through its Pandora Papers.

An Oct. 3 ICIJ document summarizing organizations findings in its Pandora Papers investigation reveals that offshore assets belonging to a “Bitcoin czar” sentenced to money laundering in connection to the largest cyberheist ever committed was identified as being handled by one of these firms.

The Pandora Papers are a 2.94 Terabyte data trove that includes 11.9 Million records from 14 offshore service providers. The documents claim to reveal the hidden assets of more then 330 politicians and high ranking public officials from 90 jurisdictions, including 35 leaders in each country and more than 130 billionaires.

The ICIJ notes that assets of “bankers”, big political donors, arms dealers and international criminals, pop stars spy chiefs, sporting giants, and others” can also be identified in the documents.

Although the name of the “Bitcoin Czar” mentioned in the Pandora Paper cannot be directly identified, the sentencing of the individuals in connection with the most important cyber heists ever recorded narrows the possibility that they are the real person.

Reporters describe Carbanaks operations as being unrivalled in scale and value. The cyber gang is estimated to have stolen more that $1.24 Billion from financial institutions and businesses in over 100 countries between 2013-2017.

Two of the six Carbanak leaders have been sentenced, but the circumstances surrounding Denis Tokarenkos 2018 arrest (also known by Denis Katana), suggest that he could be the one responsible for the Pandora Papers.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Tokarenko was arrested in March 2018. The Spanish National Police discovered 15,000 Bitcoins worth $162 Million in Tokarenkos possession at the time.

Carlos Yuste, chief inspector of the Spanish National Police’s cybercrime centre, said that Tokarenko also used a Bitcoin mining company purchased in China to transfer his stolen funds into BTC.

Analysts also referred to the 2016 Bangladesh Bank cyber theft, in which hackers stole almost $1 billion from an account of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York owned by the Bangladeshi central banks, as the biggest virtual theft in history.

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Maia Santos Deguito, a former employee of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, is the only person to be sentenced for the cyber heist. A Cointelegraph investigation did not provide any sources that could link Deguito to crypto assets.