Crypto entrepreneur who fled FBI now works for Russian state media
Christopher Emms, the British blockchain pioneer who is wanted by the FBI for allegedly breaking US sanctions on North Korea has reportedly been hired to provide crypto commentary by Russian state broadcaster RT.
Emms was accused of organizing a crypto conference in Pyongyang, North Korea in April 2019 at which he allegedly explained to his audience how blockchain could be used to evade US sanctions.
He subsequently made his way to Saudi Arabia. After winning an extradition case against the US, the 31-year-old escaped to Russia.
Since settling in Moscow, Emms has wasted no time in contributing to RT’s pro-Russia and anti-West propaganda. Indeed, one of his first productions is a lecture on inflation wrapped with an invective against the West.
In his lecture, Emms claims that inflation in the West is caused purely by money printing and paints Russia as being totally blameless. He also criticized the West’s financial support for Ukraine and voiced support for a multi-polar world which, according to him, would bring a truly global free market.
In another feature, Emms applauds Russia’s test roll-out of its digital rouble and in another, he discusses how to break SWIFT’s monopoly on global payments.
Links with Maltese criminal lawyer revealed
Last week, independent outlet The Shift revealed that Emms runs a medical cannabis company in Malta alongside Gianluca Caruana Curran, a lawyer defending businessman Yorgen Fenech. Fenech is accused of masterminding the murder of journalist and anti-corruption activist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Caruana Curran has previously been charged with attempting to bribe a journalist in relation to the case.
The firm, Green Goblin Ventures, is co-owned by Emms through his Gibraltar-based company Emms Ventures Ltd. It shows no signs of activity in its registered public documents and according to the business registry, Caruana Curran is also filling in as a shareholder to Emms’s other companies in Malta such as Gamesult.
Emms had partnered with the Maltese government on its 2017 ‘Blockchain Island’ campaign which was meant to attract crypto companies to set up shop in the country. Various companies and exchanges like Binance did indeed move some operations to Malta, having been tempted by legislation that offered tax incentives and light regulation.
Malta’s drive to attract the crypto industry’s biggest hitters was eventually hampered by banks’ refusal to open accounts for crypto companies and a series of corruption scandals that gained the island a place on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Grey List.
Emms is taking a page from Snowden’s book
Before landing in Russia, most of Emms’s discourse had been largely apolitical. Indeed, he defended his speech at the Pyongyang conference by claiming that he had to say the right words as expected by the North Korean hosts.
However, Emms’ flight to Russia and his overt anti-Western propaganda seem to be taken directly from Edward Snowden’s playbook. Snowden traveled to Russia from Hong Kong in 2013, found a job as a consultant to an unnamed IT security company, got married, and obtained Russian citizenship in 2022.
Read more: Zcash: Snowden wants it known he wasn’t paid to attend crypto ceremony
Snowden, also a proponent of Bitcoin, has been extremely vocal in his criticism of the US and its so-called ‘military-industrial complex.’ Lately, Snowden has been retweeting posts from popular journalists and commentators who have been critical of the West’s backing of Ukraine, including Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté.
He has also retweeted in support of Seymour Hersh’s story that claims the Nordtsream pipeline was blown up by a covert US special forces operation.
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