The Investigation Committee expects the country’s legislators to take into account the suggestion it proposes. The idea is to modify the law and make it able to confiscate cryptocurrencies
Some regulatory entities in Belarus hope to be able to modify judicial laws in the country to allow the confiscation of cryptocurrencies linked to crimes. In this way, they would be following some examples of countries that offer to the international market the sale of crypto assets seized to criminals.
Most of the police procedures in Belarus report that the most wide cryptocurrency criminals used is Bitcoin (BTC). Belarus currently does not have a legal tool that allows seizing cryptocurrencies. The petition to lawmakers is now a reality due to the initiative of state authorities.
The Research Committee of the Republic of Belarus, a group that makes up several state authorities in the country, hopes to support the initiative as a step towards new technologies and as a further step in building a system that strengthens local legislation.
Through an interview conducted by local media last March 9th, Iván Noskevich, Head of the Investigation Committee, talked about his interest in taking the initiative to the real level. According to the executive, the country is not prepared to properly face these crimes executed with cryptocurrencies. For this reason, modifying the statutes so that the authorities can confiscate these assets can be an important action.
Noskevich said that, amid criminal proceedings against some criminals, judicial entities faced problems trying to seize cryptocurrencies. Since the national laws do not contemplate this type of procedure, the Investigation Committee proposes to make a reform to the law. The intention is to carry out these tasks. Besides, the official hopes to give the authority the necessary power to confiscate these assets in all kinds of crimes.
However, Noskevich expressed concern that his initiative does not have the full support of lawmakers. “We have found such as cases before, but there was no legal regulation of the mechanism to confiscate cryptocurrencies. I hope legislators to listen to the opinion of the Investigation Committee and that these amendments be introduced in the legal procedure legislation”, he said.
Belarus has not been a very active country with the use of cryptocurrencies although, in 2017, the country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, legalized the use of these digital assets in the territory. Only in 2019, there was little movement regarding cryptocurrencies in this nation.
In the middle of 2019, the attorney general of Belarus was concerned about the use of these assets in tax evasion. Some months before, the major local bank, Belarusbank, announced its intention to create an exchange platform that would help use cryptocurrencies on its banking platform and avoid tax evasion. However, criminals found a way to use cryptocurrencies in their crimes.
The Investigation Committee hopes the authorities to take into account its recommendations to confiscate cryptocurrencies that were used in crimes, as other countries are doing since some years ago. Belgium, for example, will auction BTCs at the end of March for an approximate value of USD 125,000. The federal government held these cryptocurrencies during a public auction.
However, auctioning cryptocurrencies seized during crimes can cause these assets to go back into the hands of criminals. As a press release expressed, some authorities in Finland fear that these digital currencies will once again serve as a “channel” for illegal acts. For these reasons, Belarus authorities want to study and create new laws to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies and avoid crimes such as money laundering.
By María Rodríguez