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Bitzlato co-founder Anton Shkurenko arrested in Russia, report – Exchanges

Russian authorities have reportedly arrested the second co-founder of seized cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato. The man who recently vowed to restore the platform’s operations from Russia has been arrested at Interpol’s request and could face extradition to France.

Another co-founder of Russia-linked Bitzlato exchange arrested in Moscow

Anton Shkurenko, co-founder of the recently collapsed digital asset exchange Bitzlato, has been arrested in Moscow, Russian Telegram broadcaster Baza reported. According to a post published on Tuesday, the crypto entrepreneur was wanted by French investigators who suspect him of extortion, data theft and money laundering.

Bitzlato, better known in the Russian-speaking market, was arrested in an international law enforcement operation in January. The coin trading platform is said to have processed over $700 million in illicit funds received from criminal organizations including darknet market Hydra and Russian crypto pyramid Finiko.

The Hong Kong-registered exchange was founded in 2017 by Shkurenko and his partner Anatoly Legkodymov, after being named as a trading bot the previous year BTC Banker, which enabled peer-to-peer transactions.

Legkodymov, a Russian citizen living in China, was arrested by US authorities in Miami last month. A previous report by Baza claims that about a year ago he transferred his stake in Bitzlato to his partner and left the post of CEO.

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has arrested three other Bitzlato executives – the company’s current CEO, finance director and marketing director – and a systems administrator in Spain and Cyprus. French law enforcement agencies took control of its servers and website.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alleges that criminal proceeds from ransomware attacks, hacks, fraud, and extortion have flowed through Bitzlato. According to data from Blockchainanalytics company Chainalysis has the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance cryptocurrency worth nearly $346 million for the platform.

Russian authorities are still deciding whether to extradite Anton Shkurenko to France, the report said. The news of his arrest comes after he said in an interview with a crypto YouTube channel last week that Bitzlato’s remaining team intends to move the business to Russia and resume operations, including withdrawals.

Do you expect more arrests in the Bitzlato case and do you think Russia will extradite its co-founder to France? Do share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Bitzlato co-founder Anton Shkurenko arrested in Russia, report – Exchanges, Crypto Trading News

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchen’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Along with crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and business are two other sources of inspiration.

photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons

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Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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