Ukraine seizes $1.5m in crypto from former official

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has seized crypto assets worth $1.5 million from Yury Shchigol, ex-chief of the Special Communications Service.

Shchigol, along with his deputy Victor Zhor, is accused of misappropriating approximately $1.8 million in government funds. The pair’s alleged scheme involved the Special Communications Service—responsible for inter-governmental communications—overpaying for software and services from two unnamed firms.

These purchases, intentionally made without open auction to evade transparency, resulted in the government paying 285 million hryvnias — around $7.8 million — for services that cost significantly less, totaling 223 million hryvnias, or $6.1 million. The difference, its claimed, was pocketed by Shchigol and Zhor.

The assets seized from Shchigol include 6.9 BTC, 1.2 million USDT and 331 TRX. Zhor has also been arrested, as reported by Ukrainian news agency RBC.

This incident is reflective of a broader trend among Ukrainian officials’ engagement with cryptocurrency. In 2021, various civil servants disclosed holdings of 46,351 Bitcoin, valued then at $2.7 billion. Notably, a 19-year-old local politician, also the son of two national parliament members, reported owning $24.6 million in Monero (XMR).

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