Sinbad was used by North Korean cyber criminals to launder hundreds of millions stolen from some of crypto’s biggest hacks like Ronin Bridge and Atomic Wallet, said the Treasury.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions against Sinbad, a cryptocurrency mixing service allegedly leveraged by bad actors including North Korea’s Lazarus Group for digital asset money laundering.
Sinbad’s platform was used to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto looted from crypto’s largest exploits like the $600 million Axie Infinity Ronin Bridge hack, Atomic Wallet’s $100 billion breach, and Harmony Horizon’s $100 million loss, according to a Nov. 29 statement.
Due to OFAC sanctions, Sinbad’s website was shut down by a joint operation between the FBI, the Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service and the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation.
Mixing services that enable criminal actors, such as the Lazarus Group, to launder stolen assets will face serious consequences.
Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
Restrictions on Sinbad follow enforcement actions against other crypto mixers like Blender.io on May 6, 2022 and Tornado Cash on Nov. 8, 2022. The Tornado Cash case extended to its developers Alexey Pertsev, Roman Semenov and Roman Storm. All three co-founders face litigation in jurisdictions in the U.S. and the Netherlands.
Departments within the Treasury, such as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, have also scrutinized crypto mixers, dubbing them a “national security threat” and calling for tighter rules around monitoring of these platforms.
This caps wide-ranging regulatory actions in the U.S. against what watchdog refers to as non-compliant crypto actors with lax procedures for combating the misuse of their technology.