Bitzlato, a well-known cryptocurrency exchange platform, made headlines after the release of its cofounder, Anton Shkurenko, from brief arrest and questioning. Local authorities took Shkurenko into custody for questioning related to the company’s business practices and financial dealings.
Bitzlato Cofounder Detained And Questioned
In a media report, Anton Shkurenko revealed that a police officer detained him to confirm his identity. However, he was released after a quick interrogation by the Interpol officer.
According to the report, Shkurenko did not disclose what unit of law enforcement apprehended him. But he noted that he signed an agreement to appear if the investigators summon him. He also cited that he got a no-detention warrant, protecting him from future arrests.
Sources stated that the arrest of Shkurenko occurred through a larger investigation into the cryptocurrency industry. They noted that his platform Bitzlato performed illegal activities such as money laundering and fraud.
Following the individual’s release, Bitzlato issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to transparency and legality in its operations. The company stated that it fully cooperates with authorities and is confident that the investigation will not adversely impact its business.
The arrest and questioning of the high-profile figure in the cryptocurrency industry have sparked discussions and debates among industry experts and commentators.
Some believe that it’s a positive development. Regulators are taking a closer look at the sector and ensuring it operates within the law’s bounds. Others argue that it could have a chilling effect on the growth and development of the industry.
But regardless of these perspectives, the events of the past few days have served as a reminder of the increased inspection of the cryptocurrency industry. As the sector continues to grow and gain mainstream adoption, companies like Bitzlato will need to maintain a high level of transparency and compliance to build and maintain public trust.
Other Arrests Around Bitzlato
The Hong Kong-certified crypto exchange, Bitzlato, has been functioning since 2016. However, in January 2023, its operations ceased following the founder’s arrest, Anatoly Legkodymov. The Department of Justice, in collaboration with FinCEN, charged him with transmitting unlicensed funds.
Simultaneously, four additional people connected to the Europe-based Bitzlato came under the custody of Europol. The law enforcement agency reported these individuals guilty of money laundering. According to Shkurenko, the four persons stole about 18 million Euros worth of digital assets from 35% of Bitzlato’s users.
The European authorities also realized additional assets worth about 32 million Euros when it froze more than 100 accounts connected to the crypto exchange, Bitzlato.
According to an interview with a Russian-based digital asset YouTube channel, Satoshkin, on January 31, Shkurenko revealed the identity of the four perpetrators. He said the individuals arrested were a marketing director, Alexander Goncharenko, CEO Mikhail Luven, dev-ops engineer Konstantin, and contractor Pavel Lerner.
Out of these four individuals, only Konstantin, who currently lives in Cyprus, was released, while the rest remain in detention.
Feature Image from Pixabay, Alexas_Fotos chart from TradingView.