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The little-known crypto platform Bitzlato was accused in the United States of laundering Russian funds - the founder was arrested.

Published: 2023-01-19

The US Department of Justice, together with the local Department of the Treasury, accused the little-known crypto exchange Bitzlato, based in Hong Kong, of money laundering. According to official data, its founder Anatoly Legkodymov was detained by the American authorities in Miami.

The Hong Kong platform has ceased to function, the US says that the measures taken will not allow Bitzlato to serve the interests of criminals, as Coindesk quotes, "connected with Russia." According to reports, the operation was carried out with the cooperation of the FBI, the French authorities and the US Treasury Department.

The Treasury Department's Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) officially named the company a "key money laundering threat." This is not just a definition, since such a formulation by US regulators usually implies a complete disconnection of business from the global financial system. In fact, we are talking about declaring the crypto exchange an “international pariah”. Legkodymov, according to Coindesk, is the owner of the main share of Bitzlato, who lived in China. After his arrest, he is due to appear before the District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

A little-known crypto exchange, according to American data, provided the so-called. peer-to-peer services to criminals and was the repository of their crypto wallets. According to the Department of Justice, we are talking about "criminals who bought and sold illegal goods." Direct and indirect transfers, according to US authorities, have totaled $700 million over the past few years. According to FinCEN, the company played a key role in illegal transactions carried out in the interests of cyber-ransomware from Russia.

The operation against Bitzlato is said to be the largest action taken against criminal crypto networks to date. The company, whose servers were allegedly confiscated, also collaborated with the “Russian” marketplace Hydra Market, located on the dark web and came under attack by US authorities last year. The US authorities are already announcing the termination of the activities of the “cryptocriminal axis Hydra-Bitzlato”.