Embattled crypto exchange, Bizlato, has been taken down by the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, often known as Europol.
The crypto company’s bitcoin wallets holding more than $19 million worth of cryptocurrencies has also been seized by Europol. According to Europol, around 46% of the assets that were transferred via Bitzlato were connected to illegal activity.
Findings by the government agency also revealed that the crypto firm was in possession of more than 2.1 billion euro worth of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Dash (DASH), and Dogecoin (DOGE), the majority of which were changed into Russian rubles.
The United States authorities reported on January 18 that they had detained Anatoly Legkodymov, the creator of Bitzlato, in the state of Florida as part of their efforts by a cryptocurrency-focused enforcement team.
Europol added that the operation, which involved support from agencies in Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands, resulted in the arrest of four other individuals linked to the cryptocurrency exchange. One of these individuals was arrested in Cyprus, and the other three were arrested in Spain.
In addition to the arrests, Europol claimed that investigators had confiscated wallets worth around 18 million euros, which is equivalent to approximately $19.5 million, and blocked more than 100 accounts at other cryptocurrency exchanges, which controlled a total of 50 million euros.
The servers of Bitzlato were supposedly a “major money laundering concern” that was tied to Russian criminal financing, and the authorities in the United States of America were engaged in the attempts to confiscate them.
Following his arrest on January 18, Legkodymov was allegedly brought before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to have his arraignment.