• Four more members of the Bitzlato crypto exchange team were arrested in Europe.
• Europol suspects that nearly half of the funds processed through the platform were associated with criminal activities.
• The operation involved law enforcement and judicial authorities from multiple European countries, as well as the US and Hong Kong.
European law enforcement authorities have conducted an international operation against crypto exchange Bitzlato, resulting in the arrest of four more of its senior management. The operation was led by the US and France and included Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Bitzlato is a Hong Kong-registered coin trading platform, which is suspected of facilitating the laundering of large amounts of criminal proceeds. Last week, its co-founder and majority owner, Russian national Anatoly Legkodymov, was arrested in Miami. The France-based digital infrastructure of the exchange was also shut down.
In addition to Legkodymov, four more individuals have been detained in Europe, including the CEO, financial director, and marketing director of the exchange in Spain, and another person in Cyprus. Police have conducted eight home searches in multiple countries, including Spain, the US, Portugal, and Cyprus. Wallets with €18 million ($19.5 million) worth of cryptocurrency, vehicles, and other assets were seized during the raids.
According to Europol, nearly half of the funds processed through Bitzlato were associated with various criminal activities, including money laundering and drug trafficking. The agency is currently working to identify victims of the exchange’s activities and to recover their funds.
Investigations into Bitzlato are ongoing and further arrests are expected. The exchange’s infrastructure has been dismantled in order to prevent any further activities of this kind from taking place.