Crypto custodian Copper reportedly transferred over $4m to entity allegedly tied to Russian arms-dealing network

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A Guardian and Worldwide Consortium of Investigative Journalists investigation reveals a hyperlink between Copper and Jonatan Zimenkov, a Russian nationwide sanctioned by the U.S.

A latest investigation co-done by the Worldwide Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the Guardian reveals that the British crypto custodian Copper transferred crypto value greater than $4.2 million to a pockets linked to a member of an alleged Russian arms-dealing community. In response to the report, the U.Okay.-headquartered agency transferred crypto to Jonatan Zimenkov, an Israeli-born sanctioned Russian nationwide.

Crypto custodian Copper reportedly transferred over $4m to entity allegedly tied to Russian arms-dealing network - 1
Zimenkov-related crypto transcations | Supply: ICIJ

The evaluation revealed a connection between Copper and Zimenkov, who was sanctioned by the U.S. in February 2023 for alleged involvement in “a number of offers for Russian cybersecurity and helicopter gross sales overseas and have engaged immediately with Rosoboroneksport’s potential shoppers to allow gross sales of Russian protection materiel,” according to the U.S. Division of the Treasury.

The evaluation notes that Jonatan Zimenkov is a member of the Zimenkov community, an arms-dealing and sanctions-evasion community led by his father, Igor Zimenkov. In response to ICIJ, Copper “transferred thousands and thousands of {dollars}” value of crypto to a pockets belonging to Zimenkov in Might 2021. Nonetheless, the report identified that Zimenkov was sanctioned solely “19 months later.”

“There is no such thing as a suggestion that Copper has breached any sanctions or every other rules in place on the time of the transaction.”


The investigation additionally highlighted that Zimenkov was not a registered shopper of Copper, implying that he didn’t have to disclose his id to the cryptocurrency custodian. Nonetheless, monetary establishments within the UK have the discretion to file a suspicious exercise report if transactions elevate issues, though it stays unsure whether or not Copper took such motion on this occasion. As of press time, Copper made no public statements on the matter.

The newest revelations comply with a earlier report by the Guardian, which disclosed {that a} sanctioned Russian banker, Mikhail Klyukin, had offered $19 million value of shares in Copper. The sale was reportedly orchestrated by Copper to deal with issues after Klyukin, who managed over 2% of the corporate, was sanctioned by the U.S. in March 2022.

Based in 2018 by Dmitry Tokarev, Copper gives companies to firms trying to put money into, commerce, or use crypto. In March 2022, Tokarev issued a public statement on Copper’s web site, condemning the Kremlin’s army offensive in opposition to Ukraine, including that “the Russian authorities doesn’t converse for each Russian. They don’t even converse for almost all of them.”

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