Dutch authorities on Friday introduced the arrest of a software program developer in Amsterdam who’s alleged to be working for Twister Money, days after the U.S. sanctioned the decentralized crypto mixing service.
The 29-year-old particular person is “suspected of involvement in concealing felony monetary flows and facilitating cash laundering” by way of the service, the Dutch Fiscal Data and Investigation Service (FIOD) stated in an announcement.
Though FIOD did not reveal the identify of the Twister Money engineer, The Block recognized him as Alexey Pertsev, citing affirmation from his spouse. “My husband did not do something unlawful,” she was quoted as saying.
FIOD additionally alleged that “Twister Money has been used to hide large-scale felony cash flows, together with from (on-line) thefts of cryptocurrencies (so-called crypto hacks and scams).”
The company, which initiated an investigation into Twister Money in June 2022, additional hinted it could make extra arrests. It additionally claimed that the individuals behind the group made large-scale earnings from facilitating these illicit transactions.
Earlier this week, Twister Money turned the second cryptocurrency mixer to be slapped with sanctions by the U.S. authorities after Blender.io for enjoying a central function in serving to organized felony gangs launder the proceeds of crime reminiscent of ransomware and cryptocurrency hacks.
The platform works by pooling and scrambling numerous digital property from hundreds of addresses, together with doubtlessly illegally obtained funds and legitimately obtained funds, to hide the path again to the asset’s unique supply, giving unlawful actors a chance to obscure the origin of the stolen cash.
If something, the most recent developments underscore the rising scrutiny of cryptocurrency mixing providers for what’s being perceived as a mechanism for cashing out ill-gotten cryptocurrencies.
This consists of the cash-strapped North Korean regime, which has been documented to depend on cyberattacks on the cryptocurrency house to plunder digital funds, and within the course of evade financial and commerce sanctions imposed on the nation.
The transfer to blocklist Twister Money, due to this fact, can also be seen as an try on a part of the U.S. authorities to answer North Korea’s use of cyber warfare in opposition to cryptocurrency exchanges and providers to finance its strategic targets.