On Monday, November 21, the US Department of Justice announced that two Estonian citizens had been indicted and arrested in Tallinn, Estonia, on 18 counts of cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering. The alleged fraud is estimated to have been $575 million. Sergei Potapenko and Ivan Turõgin were the masterminds behind this elaborate plan which involved various layers of fraud. The monies collected were the result of a cryptocurrency scheme and a fake bank, which were then poured into shell companies to purchase extravagant cars and real estate. The case has been investigated by the FBI.

The small nation of Estonia is ranked highly on the Human Development Index and has a high-income economy. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Estonia became a more prosperous country, however, materialism and the love of money can easily gain a tight grip on people as is evident by this news story. It is one of the least populous nations in the European Union with a population of just 1.3 million. While it is small, Estonia is ranked highly in terms of education, quality of life, and usage of technology.

In Estonia, the largest “religious” group is non-religious with more than half of the population, while 4.5% identify with evangelical Christianity. Please pray for missionaries to go to Estonia, for souls to be saved, for churches to be planted, and for a thriving community of believers to be established for the glory of God.