German police believe a couple of men suspected of assisting the armed Islamic man in the 2020 Vienna attack used have the cryptocurrency exchange Binance. The men were implicated in a 2021 letter from the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), which was recently revealed to Reuters. According to the letter, there were indications that the men identified as Drilon G., a German citizen, and Blinor S. of Kosovo had bought or sold an unspecified amount of cryptocurrency on Binance. The BKA claims that Blinor S. used a bank account to do “various” deals with Binance, while a Binance verification code was found on Drilon G’s phone.
So far, the BKA has refused to release any details regarding the dates, number and value of the transactions. In connection with “potential terrorist attack plans,” the federal authority also required Binance to provide all data relating to the duo, including all digital currency transactions.
In their defense, Blinor S. and Drilon G. denied having assisted the gunman, or having used cryptocurrencies for any attack. Blinor S. acknowledged investing in cryptocurrencies, saying he opened a Binance account in February, stressed that he did it for investment purposes only. “So that every transaction on Binance is traceable,” he said. According to both men’s lawyers, neither has been formally charged with a crime and no arrest warrant has yet been issued.
Crypto in crime
Armed with an automatic rifle, a pistol and a machete, a 20-year-old Austrian of North Macedonian nationality opened fire in six places around the main synagogue in Vienna on 2 November 2020. After firing into crowded premises for several minutes, killing four people and wounding 23, the gunman was shot and killed by the police. In a public statement in July last year, Germany’s federal attorney general named Drilon G. and Blinor S. as suspects they had said in advance of the attack and had not reported.
While it is still unclear what role cryptocurrencies may have played in this crime, cryptocurrency-related crime around the world increased nearly 80% last year. The value of cryptocurrency-related crime nearly doubled last year to $ 14 billion, up 79% from $ 7.8 billion in 2020.
Click to rate this article!