Accused Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Arrested in Thailand
Sergey Sergeyvich Medvedev is accused of being the co-founder and second in command of the transnational crime syndicate, Infraud. The dark-web marketplace associated with the group was seized and taken offline by U.S. authorities.
Mr. Medvedev, a Russian national, fled to Thailand six years ago. Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) identified the thirty-one-year-old as being located in Bangkok following an investigation prompted by American requests for cooperation with the FBI.
Maj. Nathapol Ratanamongkolsak of the CSD stated that “The United States […] requested assistance from Thai police, and the police commissioner ordered the Crime Suppression Division to work on this case in late 2017.”
Mr. Medvedev in Possession of Over 100,000 Bitcoins
Mr. Medvedev was arrested during a raid on his apartment in the Sukhumvit area, conducted by 30 CSD officers. The CSD officers seized numerous documents and a notebook computer from Mr. Medvedev.
CSD investigators have claimed that Mr. Medvedev was trading illegal products online in exchange for bitcoin. Thai media outlet, Bangkok Post, has reported that “judging by the evidence obtained during the Feb 2 raid, [Mr. Medvedev] had more than 100,000 bitcoin[s]” – at the time valued at approximately $800 – $900 million USD.
Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief, Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak, has confirmed that the raid took place. However, the CIB chief has declined to issue further details regarding the operation, stating that such is an international police matter and that more information will be made public soon.
FBI Cracks Down on Infraud
It is alleged that Infraud was created during 2001 by Mr. Medvedev in partnership with Svyatoslav Bondarenko in Ukraine. Infraud has been described as a major hub for credit card fraud, with Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki stating that the site was “the premier one-stop shop for cybercriminals worldwide.”
Reports have indicated that similar operations designed to arrest 18 members of Infraud have been carried out in over a dozen different countries – expanding on prior efforts by the FBI to crack down on Infraud, which have previously seen the arrest of 32 individuals suspected of criminal involvement with the group.
Maj. Nattapol Rattanamongkol stated “This is an operation by the [US] Department of Homeland Security that involves spontaneous [raids] in 14 countries.”