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Anton Shkurenko Bitzlato, Co-Founder Freed from Moscow Arrest

The co-founder of the Hong Kong crypto exchange Bitzlato Anton Shkurenko has been released from detention. Shkurenko was arrested on February 6 by law enforcers at an identification checkpoint. 

The regulators claimed that Interpol listed Shkurenko as the most wanted individual. After some negotiation with the law enforcer Shkurenko was released.

Shkurenko revealed that he would follow the legal process and had written an obligation report agreeing to appear before the investigators when needed.

Shkurenko Arrested


A report shared by the Russian local news site on February 9 revealed that Shkurenko was granted a non-detention warrant after a resolute conversation with the regulators. Shkurenko claimed that he was not involved in any criminal activity. He restated that he was the director of the Bitzlato tech unit. 

Before changes in Bitzlato management, Shkurenko was the custodian of private keys for the company’s crypto wallet.

In the meantime, Bitzlato plans to restore its operation and have more than 100 employees. Shkurenko confirmed that the user funds on the Bitzlato platform are safe and secure. 

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Regulators Probing Bitzlato Officials

At the beginning of this year, regulators in the U.S and Europe demanded the closure of the Russian crypto firm Bitzlato. The regulators alleged that Bitzlato was involved in a money laundering scheme involving $700M.

Bitzlato’s unlawful activity triggered the U.S. Treasury to take action to detach the business from the international financial system.

The Bitzlato scandal was linked to other crypto exchanges, including the largest crypto exchange Binance. The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FCEN) investigation confirmed that most Bitcoin transactions were channeled using the Binance crypto exchange.

Investigators disclosed that Bitzlato engaged LocalBitcoins to expedite the buying and selling of Bitcoin.

Multiple Parties Involved in Bitzlato Scandal

Afterward, the investigation launched by U.S. and Europe regulators impacted the arrest of Bitzlato founder Anatoly Legkodymov with his four counterparts for engaging in unregulated money transactions in January.

 After the arrest, the regulators reported confiscating assets worth $19.5M and suspended more than 100 crypto transactions. Other seized assets include huge cash, luxurious vehicles, and accessories.  

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The Bitzlato money laundering scandal triggered the Spanish authority to collaborate with other international partners to arrest the company’s chief executive officer.

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Stephen Causby

Stephen Causby is an experienced crypto journalist who writes for Tokenhell. He is passionate for coverage in crypto news, blockchain, DeFi, and NFT.

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