Europol Publishes Crypto Worth $19.5M Was Taken In Legal Action Against Bitzlato

Key Points:

Europol publishes Authorities reportedly grabbed custody of bitcoin wallets containing more than $19 million in cryptocurrency as part of enforcement measures against crypto business Bitzlato, according to the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, or Europol.
U.S. authorities declared on January 18 that they had detained Bitzlato founder Anatoly Legkodymov in Florida as part of operations by a cryptocurrency-focused enforcement team.
Europol reported that officials had suspended more than 100 accounts at other cryptocurrency exchanges, which together held 50 million euro, and seized wallets worth about 18 million euro, or $19.5 million.

Europol publishes Authorities reportedly grabbed custody of bitcoin wallets containing more than $19 million in cryptocurrency as part of enforcement measures against crypto business Bitzlato, according to the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, or Europol.

In a Jan. 23 announcement, Europol reported that roughly 46% of assets — 1 billion euro, or $1.09 billion at the time of publication — moved through Bitzlato were linked to illicit activities. The government agency’s analysis suggested that Bitzlato received more than 2.1 billion euro.

“While the conversions of crypto-assets into fiat currencies is not illegal, investigations into the cybercriminal operators indicated that large volumes of criminal assets were going through the platform,” said Europol. “The majority of suspicious transactions are linked to entities sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), with others linked to cyber scams, money laundering, ransomware and child abuse material.”

U.S. authorities declared on January 18 that they had detained Bitzlato founder Anatoly Legkodymov in Florida as part of operations by a cryptocurrency-focused enforcement team. According to Europol, the operation, which had assistance from law enforcement in Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands, led to the capture of 4 other people connected to the cryptocurrency exchange: 1 in Cyprus and 3 in Spain.
Along with the arrests, Europol reported that officials had suspended more than 100 accounts at other cryptocurrency exchanges, which together held 50 million euro, and seized wallets worth about 18 million euro, or $19.5 million. In an endeavor to seize Bitzlato’s servers for allegedly being a “major money laundering concern” linked to Russian illegal finance, U.S. authorities were also involved.
Legkodymov allegedly appeared in court on January 18 after being arrested in the Southern District of Florida. It is unknown if his Bitzlato coworkers will be charged in Europe.
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