Ukraine seizes $1.5 million worth of crypto from former public official

Quick Take

  • Ukraine authorities have seized $1.5 million worth of crypto assets from Yury Shchigol, a former chief of Ukraine’s Special Communications Service.

Ukraine's Anti-Corruption Bureau said on Thursday that crypto assets worth $1.5 million had been seized from Yury Shchigol, a former chief of Ukraine's Special Communications Service.

The agency, known as NABU, said the asset seizure included 6.9 BTC, 1.2 million USDT, and 331 TRX that belonged to Shchigol, according to an announcement. The former public official has been under investigation for allegedly misappropriating government funds worth about $1.8 million.

According to the NABU, Shchigol and his deputy, Victor Zhor, were behind a criminal scheme in which the Special Communications Service, which provides communication between government bodies, purchased software and services from two firms and overpaid them. The purchases were made secretly in order to avoid an open auction.

The firms, which were not named, conspired with Shchigol and Zhor, and the government agency ended up paying 285 million hryvnias ($7.8 million). The purchased goods and services were actually bought from another provider abroad and cost only 223 million hryvnias ($6.1 million). Shchigol and Zhor pocketed the difference, NABU said.


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Co-conspirator arrested

Zhor was arrested on Wednesday, Ukrainian news agency RBC reported

Ukrainian public officials have been known for their use for crypto. In 2021, various civil servants reported owning 46,351 bitcoin that was worth $2.7 billion at the time. The 19-year old son of two national parliament members, and a local politician himself, reported owning $24.6 million worth of monero.

Disclaimer: The Block is an independent media outlet that delivers news, research, and data. As of November 2023, Foresight Ventures is a majority investor of The Block. Foresight Ventures invests in other companies in the crypto space. Crypto exchange Bitget is an anchor LP for Foresight Ventures. The Block continues to operate independently to deliver objective, impactful, and timely information about the crypto industry. Here are our current financial disclosures.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Anna is a senior policy reporter at The Block. She has a background in political journalism and covered Russian civil society for a range of news outlets in Moscow, including the award-winning newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Before joining The Block, Anna spent the past five years investigating cryptocurrency policies and adoption around the world at CoinDesk. Anna owns bitcoin and a gift NFT of sentimental value.


To contact the editor of this story:
Nathan Crooks at
[email protected]