An eastern European cybercrime group known as the Belarusian Cyber Partisans has attempted to sell the passport information of its autocratic president Alexander Lukashenko and his close associates as NFTs.
The hacktivist group insists that the move is part of a plan to raise funds for a grassroots campaign aimed at fighting the “bloody regimes in Minsk and Moscow.” They claimed to have exploited a government database containing the passport info of every Belarusian citizen and thereafter launched an NFT collection called Belarusian Passports, which included a digital passport that supposedly features Lukashenko’s actual information.
According to the hackers, they made an attempt to sell the NFT collection via the OpenSea marketplace on Tuesday, which happened to be Lukashenko’s birthday. However, the sale was promptly shut down, and they are weighing other available options.
The dictator has a birthday today — help us ruin it for him! Get our work of art today. A special offer— a New Belarus passport for Lukashenko where he’s behind the bars.
However, the info on the digital passport has been branded as fake by some observers who noticed some discrepancies like a typo on the front page of the word “Republic” and also a misspelling of “Aleksandr.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the marketplace told reporters that the project trespassed on company guidelines relating to “doxxing and revealing personal identifying information about another person without their consent.”
The Belarusian Cyber Partisans revealed that they are also looking to sell NFTs featuring the passport info of other government officials that are closely linked with Lukashenko.
We also offer passports of his closest allies and traitors of the people of #Belarus and #Ukraine. All the funds will go to support our work in hitting bloody regimes in #minsk & #moscow.
Lukashenko, who has been at the helm of affairs in Belarus since the nation’s inception in 1994, is a very controversial figure, to say the least. Although he was elected for his agenda to phase out corruption, he has been accused in the past of having a hand in “rigging elections, torturing critics, and arresting and beating protesters” by the likes of the Organize Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
The hacktivist group chose Lukashenko as a target not only because of corruption but also for his support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Back in February, the group launched a broader fundraising campaign called the “Resistance Movement of Belarus,” aimed at ultimately usurping power from Lukashenko via its own self-defense forces. The campaign primarily takes donations through crypto assets such as Bitcoin (BTC).
“We, the free citizens of Belarus, refuse to submit to this state and form the self-defense, as a people’s response to the unleashed terror. Our ultimate goal is the elimination of the dictatorial regime,” the group wrote.