by Robert DeVoe
Forklog, a primarily Russian language cryptocurrency news site has announced that on December 15, the apartment of their CEO Anatoly Kaplan had his apartment raided by the Ukraine Security Service. Agents took a number of cold storage cryptocurrency storage items, and later 305 ether was transferred to a private wallet. At today’s valuation, that would be more than a quarter of a million dollars.
Forklog and Anatoly Kaplan
Forklog is an online magazine that releases news and updates on happenings in the cryptocurrency world. The site releases content in both Russian and English. They claim to be the “biggest and most popular” Russian language blockchain media company. They’ve recently covered topics including upcoming conferences, hacks and scams, banks involvement in crypto, and well known public figures getting into cryptocurrency.
As the site is purely a news organization, the accusation that led up to the raid on Kaplan’s apartment seems to be completely baseless.
Forklog Accused of Aiding Monder Launderers
According to the Forklog English language article describing the raid, the Ukrainian Security Service suspected Forklog of aiding criminals in “exchanging Bitcoin to hryvna (Ukrainian national currency) using online service ‘Forklog.'”
Forklog representatives found the accusations shocking and bewildering, noting that “neither the main [website] nor other associated resources have ever provided such services and do not even possess or run the required software.”
The criminals that Forklog was accused of supporting were engaging in “fraudulent activities with bank cards.”
Making It Public
In a statement from Kaplan, the victim of the highly strange and seemingly undeserved raid, he decided that this incident needed to be made public. In addition to raiding the house, causing distress and invading his privacy, a large number of items were removed from the house. This ranged from cryptocurrency storage devices personal items. The company’s office was also raided, and from there desktop computers and even bottle of Kraken rum were taken.
“It’s not as much about protecting my personal interests as it is about protecting the interests of the entire community. This should send a warning to everyone who is in any way related to blockchain technologies. It doesn’t matter if you are a public figure.” – Anatoly Kaplan, Forklog CEO
Suspicious Ether Activity
The day after the raid, a large amount of ether was suddenly transferred from Kaplan’s wallet to a new address, the owner or creator of which is currently unknown. The amount of ether stolen, 305 plus units, equates to more than a quarter of a million dollars in value.
Not only was the ether stolen, but Kaplan claims that someone attempted to withdraw cash from his bank card, too.
In response to this apparent theft, the lawyer retained by the company, Artem Afian, made the following statement to Forklog:
“We expect a prompt and proper reaction from the authorities and swift return of seized equipment. As to the return of seized cryptocurrency and SSU agents’ legal liability, I can only say that this will be a highly symbolic and evincive case.” – Artem Afian, Lawyer at Juscutum Law Firm
The Pressure Mounts
From other statements made by Forklog, it appears that this kind of activity is not new for the Ukraine Security Services. The company cites several sources that indicate that IT businesses operating in the country have faced losses of up to $40 million due to pressure from law enforcement. They also note that miners have also been targeted for raids, despite the fact that cryptocurrency mining is not illegal.
The article closes with a statement clarifying the company’s commitment to continuing operations. Saying, “Forklog intends to continue providing our loyal readers with quality content and the latest news from the world of blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies.”