The local Interpol office detained a British citizen in Moscow accused by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ). He is accused of conspiracy violate US sanctions against North Korea.
As reported by a local the media On February 21, Christopher Emms was arrested in Moscow on the basis of an Interpol “red notice”. A 31-year-old British citizen was detained in the hostel where he lived.
In April 2022, Emms, along with Spanish citizen Alejandro Cao De Benos, was to provide guidance on how the DPRK could use blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. to money laundering and evasion of sanctions. The two planned and organized a blockchain and cryptocurrency conference in Pyongyang in 2019.
A third participant in the conspiracy is Virgil Griffith, a former Ethereum developer. He was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in November 2019, found guilty and sentenced to 63 months in prison. Emms, in turn, would face up to 20 years in prison on one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).
Related: North Korea stole more cryptocurrencies in 2022 than any other year
Radha Stirling, founder of Due Process International, an NGO that helps defend human rights in the face of international law enforcement. he claimed that there was no hard evidence against Emms:
“Just because he did nothing wrong; he didn’t give any information to North Korea that wasn’t already on the first page of Google.”
In September 2022, Saudi Arabia rejected the US extradition request for lack of legal basis and released Emms after an 8-month travel ban. He immediately left the country and fled to Russia. However, despite the country also being targeted by the DoJ’s efforts to enforce financial sanctions in the crypto sector, local enforcers have apparently decided to help their US counterparts.