Concord bank and drug trafficking
Concord Bank from Dnipro became a defendant in the publications of the Russian media (Kommersant, The Bell) along with the Russian-Czech exchange Exmo and the Moscow cryptocurrency exchange service Suex at the suggestion of the local Stopnarkotik movement. The activists turned to law enforcement agencies, claiming that Concord Bank allegedly provided acquiring services for the Russian drug marketplace Hydra.
“Transactions on payments for the purchase of cryptocurrency in hryvnia on the territory of Ukraine through the Exmo crypto exchange and through the acquiring of Concord Bank,” the organization’s press service told Forbes. Stopnarkotik did not provide any supporting documents. According to the Russian “Kommersant”, the movement demands from the central bank of the Russian Federation and law enforcement officers “to block payments in favor of the Ukrainian financial institution.”
Another participant in the Stopnarkotik payment route is the Russian payment system QIWI. In Ukraine, she worked under the name TYME until 2018 – until the NBU revoked her license. The organization also believes that in Ukraine, the Virginia company Hotpay and the Easy Transfer payment service could be involved in operations. The latter really cooperates with Concord Bank, providing it, as well as FUIB Bank and the Hunter financial company, with the services of a payment infrastructure operator.
How could the roles of prospective participants in the operations be assigned to Hydra?
Suex is a service for converting cryptocurrency into traditional money and vice versa. Since its founding in 2018, Suex has transferred hundreds of millions of dollars of cryptocurrency, mainly in bitcoins, Ethereum and Tether, most of the funds came from illegal sources (ransomware hackers, pyramid schemes, drug trafficking) – about $ 370 million, writes the Russian edition of The Bell citing data from analytical company Eliptic.
On September 21, the United States imposed sanctions on Suex: the platform is suspected of accompanying financial transactions by hackers who specialize in blackmailing with a ransom demand from victims.
Exmo is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Eastern Europe. Unlike Suex, which specializes in withdrawing money from cryptocurrency wallets and vice versa, Exmo provides cryptocurrency exchange between users. The service is indeed used to pay for the supply of drugs – such cases have been identified, in particular, by the Ukrainian cyber police.
Suex and Exmo have common roots. The crypto exchange was founded by Russian entrepreneur Ivan Petukhovsky, who is also one of the co-investors of Suex, together with the namesake Yegor Petukhovsky, as well as Maxim Subbotin and Ildar Zakirov, indicates The Bell. After the announcement of US sanctions against Suex, Exmo stated that it had nothing to do with the crypto exchange. The exchange also denies any connection with the Concord Bank, writes the Russian edition of RBC.
How could Concord Bank participate in the dubious transactions of the Russians? A possible connecting link is a financial company that accepts non-cash hryvnia payments for the purpose of their further exchange for cryptocurrency, says Mikhail Chobanyan, co-founder of the Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchange KUNA.
“Technically, the bank in such a situation serves the accounts of the financial company and provides it with acquiring services,” explains Chobanyan.
An interlocutor in the top management of the National Bank noted that Concord Bank has indeed increased the volume of acquiring operations. Officially, the NBU did not respond to Forbes’ request at the time of publication. The bank’s CEO Yuri Zadoya declined to comment on the situation with Russian crypto services. At the time of publication, the Concord press service did not respond to Forbes’ request.
According to the NBU, in addition to the bank, the Concord banking group includes Ukrainian financial companies Kordpey, Mastpey, Procard and Sinkom, as well as non-resident companies: British Electronic Payment Solutions LTD and Malta’s Moneycare Limited. The owners of the group are entrepreneurs from Dnipro Elena Sosedka and Yulia Sosedka (56.2% and 43.8% of the shares, respectively).