Romanian Authorities Investigate Illegal Crypto Financing of Movements
In an attempt to combat subversive movements that have appeared in the country recently, DIICOT is looking into cryptocurrency transactions that went to several organizations.
The Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) is currently investigating the way in which the “Rezist” movement is financed, suspecting organizations within the movement of organized crime and money laundering, Mediafax reports.
Some of these organizations include Declic, an NGO used to support movements within the nation that organize protests in Bucharest, and others like VaVedem, Corupția Ucide, Oradea Civic, Funky Citizens, Just, and Rezistența TV. Results from the investigation so far, which consist of a scan of unspecified cryptocurrency addresses tied to Rezist movement, reveal 403 transactions and a total of $14.9 million transferred in the last three years.
Following the money
According to Mediafax’s source, the public prosecutor in charge of the investigation is looking into the fact that all of the transactions could have come from the Stefan Batory Foundation in Poland, an organization in partnership with George Soros.
It’s worth mentioning here that DIICOT’s suspicions are not tied to protests held at the end of January 2017, when hundreds of thousands of people from around the country gathered in Bucharest to decry legislation that would have de facto legalized corruption among politicians.
Instead, authorities are more concerned with the source of financing for the August 10 protests, where a remarkable number of citizens from the diaspora came home to Romania to participate. The action culminated in a number of violent incidents between protesters and police with no clear consensus on who instigated them.
The protests themselves didn’t appear to have any clear trigger, instead appearing to be spontaneous. The motive was to demand the resignation of social democrat prime minister Viorica Dancilă.
Investigators believe that the enormous sums had something to do with the August 10 protests as hundreds of thousands of dollars were withdrawn from the pot just a few weeks before they happened.
With 403 transactions, the accumulation rate of funds could be calculated to a whopping $36,972.70 per transaction. For a protest in Romania, this is a remarkable sum.
This episode, unfortunately, is likely to sully the reputation of cryptocurrencies in the country—which only recently started its first blockchain association—as far as the government is concerned.
Attempts by both Mediafax and Cryptovest to contact DIICOT spokeswoman Mihaela Porime were either unsuccessful or met with a refusal to comment on the situation. The Open Society Foundation and Stefan Batory Foundation also could not be reached for comment.