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Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is collaborating with law enforcement authorities in Ukraine to take down some large-scale money laundering schemes.

Working with the exchange, Ukraine’s cyber police identified and arrested a group of criminals involved in a $42 million ransomware and money laundering operation, Binance told Cointelegraph in a criminal investigation report on Aug. 18.

According to the report, the criminal group has been laundering millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies since 2018. A Binance representative said that the suspects were all Ukranian nationals, and were arrested in June 2020.

According to Binance, the group was primarily operating in Ukraine but was also involved in several cyber attacks on a global scale. The spokesperson denied to provide additional details about the size of the group, or other individuals and entities involved.

The successful criminal investigation comes soon after Binance began cooperating with Ukrainian law enforcement in early 2020.

The investigation is part of Binance’s so-called “Bulletproof Exchangers” project that aims to track down transactions between Binance and high-risk entities.

Investigations of this kind are primarily conducted by Binance’s internal risk intelligence unit known as Binance Sentry as well as an analytics arm, the Security Data Science division.

Alongside Ukraine, Binance handles law enforcement requests from numerous jurisdictions across the globe, the exchange representative noted. As reported, Binance was involved in a similar investigation in the United Kingdom in September 2019. The exchange said that Binance helped British prosecutors investigate an online fraud that caused $51 million in losses to victims.

Binance’s efforts to help Ukraine combat local crypto crimes comes against the backdrop of an established cooperation between the exchange and the former Soviet republic. In late 2019, Binance signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation to help Ukraine develop crypto-related legislation. 

According to a report by major crypto analytics firm Chainalysis, Binance and Huobi exchange received more than 52% of all illicit Bitcoin (BTC) transfers in 2019, with Binance itself accounting for more than 27% of the total.

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