Bitzlato is a popular crypto currency exchange site, and its co-founder, Anton Shkurenko was briefly detained and questioned by authorities.
Shkurenko was arrested by local police and is now being questioned about the company's finances and commercial transactions.
Anton Shkurenko said in a media interview that a police officer had arrested him for checking his identification. Nevertheless, he was freed after a brief question from the Interpol agent.
If the claim is to be believed, Shkurenko did not say which branch of the police had arrested him. However, he did mention that he had signed a document promising to show up if the authorities asked to see him. He also mentioned that he was granted a no-detention warrant, which would prevent further arrests.
Shkurenko was arrested as part of a much bigger probe into the bitcoin market. They pointed out that dishonest acts, including money laundering and fraud, were conducted on his Bitzlato platform.
Bitzlato made a statement after he was released, reiterating its dedication to openness and compliance with the law. According to the company's statement, it cooperates completely with authorities and is not worried that the inquiry will influence its operations.
Experts in the bitcoin field have debated and discussed the arrest of a prominent person in the sector.
To others, this may seem like a promising new trend. Authorities are scrutinizing the industry more closely to ensure it follows the rules. Yet others worry it will stunt business expansion and innovation.
Nonetheless, recent events have acted as a reminder of the heightened scrutiny applied to the cryptocurrency business, regardless of one's view. For the industry to continue expanding and gaining widespread acceptance, businesses like Bitzlato must uphold the highest standards of openness and regulation compliance.
Multiple Arrests in the Bitzlato Case
Bitzlato, an authorized crypto currency exchange in Hong Kong, has been operational since 2016. Nonetheless, the company halted operations with the arrest of its founder, Anatoly Legkodymov, in January 2023.
He was accused of illegal money transfer by the DOJ and FinCEN.
At the same time, Europol arrested four other persons with ties to the European branch of Bitzlato. These people were accused of money laundering by the law enforcement agency.
Shkurenko claims that 35% of Bitzlato's user base had around 18 million Euros of digital assets stolen by the four individuals.
European authorities blocked over 100 accounts linked to Bitzlato and seized assets worth an estimated 32 million Euros.
Satoshkin, a YouTube channel headquartered in Russia dedicated to digital assets, claims that on January 31, Shkurenko divulged the identities of the four criminals. He identified the suspects as CEO Mikhail Luven, dev-ops engineer Konstantin, contractor Pavel Lerner, and marketing director Alexander Goncharenko.
Only Konstantin, who is now living in Cyprus, was released; the other three are still being held.