According to Baza, the co-founder Anton Shkurenko of the digital asset exchange Bitzlato was arrested in Moscow. A published post stated that French investigators were looking for the cryptocurrency entrepreneur because they believed he was guilty of extortion, data theft, and money laundering.
The Russian-speaking market claimed that Bitzlato was taken down in January at an international law enforcement operation. According to reports, the coin trading site handled over $700 million in illegal cash obtained from criminal organizations. Including the Russian cryptocurrency pyramid Finiko along with the darknet market Hydra.
Bitzlato and the Hong Kong Market
The market in Hong Kong was established by Shkurenko and Anatloy Legkodymov, two partners, in 2017. This Hong Kong market came about after a year after them introducing a trading bot known as BTC Banker, which was introduced for peer-to-peer transactions.
Legkodymov was a Russian national living in China and was arrested by U.S. authorities in Miami a month ago. According to an earlier article by Baza, he handed over his stake of Bitzlato to his partner around a year ago and resigned from his position as CEO.
In addition, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement arrested three more Bitzalot executives. The three are the current CEO, financial director, marketing director, and system administrator in Span and Cyprus. The servers and website were taken over by French police enforcement.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bitzlato was used to transfer illegal gains from hacks, extortions, frauds, and ransomware attacks. The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Binance, exchanged cryptocurrency worth close to $346 million for the platform, according to statistics from blockchain analytics company Chainalysis.
Russian authorities are still debating whether to report Anton Shkurenko to France. . The news of his arrest comes after he claimed last week that Bitzlato’s remaining crew intended to move the company to Russia and relaunch operations as well as withdrawals.