The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has reportedly amended the sanctions for cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash with regard to the inclusion of two individuals belonging from “transportation and procurement activities” for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in its list of Specially Designated Nationals, as reported by Cointelegraph.
According to Cointelegraph, through a November 8, 2022, announcement, the Department of Treasury mentioned it had “delisted and simultaneously redesignated” Tornado Cash along with taking into account activities conducted by North Korean nationals Ri Sok and Yan Zhiyong for the sanctions. Reportedly, the claims were reiterated by the government department, on the cryptocurrency mixer’s involvement in laundering $455 million in cryptocurrencies stolen by the North Korean-based Lazarus Group.
“Today’s sanctions action targets two key nodes of the DPRK’s weapons programs: its increasing reliance on illicit activities, including cybercrime, to generate revenue, and its ability to procure and transport goods in support of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs,” Brian Nelson, under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, said.
Moreover, Cointelegraph noted that many participants from the cryptocurrency space have been involved in lawsuits against the US Treasury post the sanctions against the mixer. It is believed that a group of investors backed by US-base cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase initiated legal action in September, 2022, by making the claim that Treasury’s sanctions of 44 USD Coin and Ether addresses related to Tornado Cash were “not in accordance to law.”
(With insights from Cointelegraph)