The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has taken down the Chinese crypto exchange company, Bitzlato, according to a Jan. 18 announcement. The department has declared this a warning shot in an oncoming international operation against crypto crime.
The DoJ has revealed in a recent announcement that it’s making a task force, an inter-agency collaboration to combat crypto crimes. The FBI will also collaborate with the U.S. treasury department and prosecutors to combat money laundering using the darknet and cryptocurrencies.
The U.S. deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco spearheaded the press conference regarding DoJ’s international crypto control efforts and declared that their most recent partnership would use every tool to attack those who exploit the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Monaco added that malicious and fraudulent actors use crypto markets as “safe havens” away from the prying eyes of law enforcement. These fraudsters jeopardize the earnings and investments of innocent Americans by breaking regulations that guard the U.S. financial system.
Monaco announced that the enforcement had begun taking action against crypto crime by disrupting Bitzlato. The DoJ claims that the Hong Kong-based company has been laundering money for criminals on the darknet.
Additionally, they revealed that Bitzlato has been facilitating illegal activities by hiding transactions behind the anonymity of blockchain technology. Bitzlato’s founder Anatoly Legkodymov was also arrested in Miami.
Legkodymov, a Russian national, had been charged with unlicensed money transmitting of about $700 million. This amount includes ransomware and drug trafficking proceeds clocking millions.
The prosecutors claimed that the company was known to have crooks as their customers. The National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team reinforces its warning that its actions transcend international borders.