A Moscow court has ordered the seizure of the crypto wallet of one of the alleged administrators of darknet market Hydra. Media reports reveal, however, that the man — who was arrested in Russia in mid-April — is refusing to share access to his presumed crypto stash with Russian law enforcement.
Investigators Fail to Obtain Hydra Market Operator’s Cryptocurrency
The Russian judiciary wants to confiscate what it believes to be a record amount of cryptocurrency from a drug dealer’s crypto wallet, the business daily Kommersant reported this week, quoting a post on the Telegram news channel Mash.
The crypto stash belongs to an alleged co-founder and administrator of arguably the largest online marketplace on the dark web, Hydra, which was shut down by Germany not long ago.
Dmitry Olegovich Pavlov, a 30-year-old businessman from Cherepovets, was detained last month on a warrant from the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow and accused of production, sale, and distribution of drugs under Russia’s Criminal Code.
His arrest came shortly after the U.S. Department of Justice announced criminal charges against a Russian resident with the same names for conspiracy to distribute narcotics and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the report, Pavlov’s wallet was seized with a court order and investigators think it stores hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency. Whether the state will be able to obtain the coins, however, is another question.
The owner refuses to give Russian authorities access to his wallet and the exact amount of digital currency stored there is yet to be established. Aside from the crypto wallet, Pavlov has been otherwise cooperative and police already have his phones and computers, Kommersant revealed.
Dmitry Pavlov is the first Hydra operator detained in the history of the Russian-language marketplace, the newspaper noted. The platform had been active since at least 2015 and had around 17 million customers before it was busted in early April when German law enforcement seized its server infrastructure and took down the darknet market’s website with support from U.S. agencies.