Authorities have arrested Crypto Exchange Bitzlato CEO for crimes related to fraudulent activities. In the published statement, the exchange CEO also doubles as the sales executive and director of the firm. The report claims that six individuals were apprehended in the sting operation between several countries. Asides from the US law enforcement, officers from France and Cyprus were also involved in the operation. In addition, the criminals were said to be nationals hailing from Ukraine and Russia.
Police seize crypto and other items from the exchange
The Spanish regulator mentioned that the anonymous nature of the platform positioned it as a perfect tool for money laundering. With this, several criminals worldwide chose it to carry out their illicit activities. The Spanish police also mentioned that items such as crypto of about $19 million and cash, among other expensive items, were also recovered from the exchange CEO.
As a result, the authorities shut down about 100 exchange accounts related to the investigation, which has picked pace. This update is coming off the back of a recent statement by the exchange CEO assuring users that they could withdraw their assets if authorities return them to the exchange. In addition, the exchange CEO also mentioned that the company is taking its headquarters to Russia, where it can operate without regulators meddling in their affairs.
Bitzlato helped Hydra process illicit funds
Last month, United States authorities announced an investigation into the activities carried out on Bitzlato. According to the authorities, the company refused to put in place AML and KYC features as directed by them. With this lacking, malicious actors have been using the platform to carry out their malicious activities. The authorities claimed that over $700 million had been processed illegally using the crypto exchange. After the announcement, the authorities closed the company’s official website while taking a portion of the funds deposited in the hot wallets by customers.
During the investigation, the police announced that it had apprehended the Exchange CEO and its co-founder Anatoly Legkodymov. One of the few illicit websites that used the platform includes the Hydra Darknet. The exchange was said to have earned more than $15 million in commissions before authorities targeted and closed the exchange. Authorities claim that this is just the beginning of a crackdown on platforms helping illicit actors process their funds.