Home Crime Russian Nationals Charged in Php 340 Million Cryptocurrency Theft from Philippine Dealer

Russian Nationals Charged in Php 340 Million Cryptocurrency Theft from Philippine Dealer

Two Russians charged in crypto currency heist 02

MANILA — Two Russian nationals face criminal charges for allegedly stealing approximately 340 million pesos ($6 million) worth of the cryptocurrency XRP from a local virtual currency dealer, the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday.

Vladimir Evgenevich Avdeev and Sergey Yaschuck, former consultants for Coins.ph, have been charged with violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The charges were filed before the Taguig Regional Trial Court, according to a DOJ statement.

The suspects allegedly hacked the company’s system, absconding with 12.2 million XRP tokens. Coins.ph, owned by BETUR, Inc., operates as a remittance and foreign currency exchange platform.

Prosecutors claim the accused exploited their insider knowledge of Coins.ph’s network infrastructure, secure access protocols, and server systems. The stolen funds were reportedly transferred through various cryptocurrency services in an attempt to obscure their origin and confuse investigators.

Avdeev faces 23 counts of cybercrime charges, while Yaschuck faces three counts. Bail has been set at 120,000 pesos ($2,140) for each count.

Justice Secretary Jesus Remulla emphasized the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law in cyberspace. “Cybercriminals seem to have employed ways to keep up with modern technological trends to exploit the innocence of our people,” Remulla said, urging vigilance among the public.

The case highlights the growing challenges faced by law enforcement agencies worldwide in combating cryptocurrency-related crimes, which often involve cross-border transactions and sophisticated hacking techniques.

As digital currencies gain popularity, regulators and exchanges are under increasing pressure to enhance security measures and protect investors from cyber threats. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities present in the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency landscape.