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In 2021, Federal Law 259 “On digital financial assets” began to work in the Russian Federation. It defines a cryptocurrency, it is prohibited to use it to pay for goods and services. Despite the introduced law, many issues related to cryptocurrencies have not been resolved. This also applies to the actions of citizens if their crypto assets were stolen.
The law enforcement system rarely initiates investigations on complaints from victims. This is due not only to the fact that the legal framework regarding cryptocurrencies is not clearly spelled out, but also because law enforcement officials do not have the appropriate knowledge to conduct a full investigation of crimes related to crypto-assets.
However, there are cases when the police managed to find the attackers who stole the cryptocurrency.
What should you do if your cryptocurrency is stolen?
The owner of the cryptocurrency must collect all the evidence he has of the movement of funds in cryptoassets.
If theft is detected, you should immediately contact the technical support service of the exchange or platform where the cryptocurrencies were stored.
You should seek the help of a professional lawyer or law firm that liaises with law enforcement agencies and provides services for filing a financial crime report.
An application with the help of lawyers is recommended to be submitted under Article 159.6 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (fraudulent activities in the field of computer information).
The police are obliged to accept the victim’s statement, since the cryptocurrency is recognized as the property of the citizen, like other digital values, in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and the explanations of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on the application of criminal law.
How effective the investigation of cryptocurrency theft will be depends on many factors. The more evidence the victim can collect, the better. It also matters what competencies the police officers and prosecutors have, who will consider this case.
Unfortunately, if the funds were stolen by professional cybercriminals, there is little chance of recovering the virtual asset. The police and prosecutors are reluctant to investigate such cases for a long time, since they do not have a staff of trained employees in this matter. Nevertheless, the application is worth submitting, it is possible that the funds can still be returned.
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