• Bitzlato, a Russia-linked cryptocurrency exchange seized by Western law enforcement, plans to relaunch and permit partial withdrawals.
• The company intends to relocate its business operations to the Russian Federation.
• Co-founder Anton Shkurenko has assured customers that the platform will provide access to their funds soon.
Bitzlato Cryptocurrency Exchange Shut Down by Law Enforcement
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato was shut down in January as part of an international law enforcement action described by U.S. authorities as a „blow to crypto crime.“ It allegedly processed $700 million of illicit funds received from criminal entities such as the darknet market Hydra and the Russian crypto Ponzi scheme Finiko. Its other co-founder, Anatoly Legkodymov, who is a Russian national residing in China, was arrested in Miami and several other team members were detained in Europe. The service was disrupted with the participation of French authorities who took control of its servers and took down its website.
Co-Founder Vows to Restore Operations & Allow Partial Withdrawals
In an interview with Satoshkin Live, a Youtube channel devoted to crypto investment and trading, Bitzlato’s co-founder Anton Shkurenko vowed to restore operations and immediately permit customers to withdraw bitcoin. He said that French officers had been able to seize Bitzlato’s hot wallet which at the time stored around 35% of user funds in various cryptocurrencies however he did not specify the exact amount but denied reports claiming that the total exceeds $1 billion. Shkurenko also denied accusations that the company has evaded taxation and assured it has always complied with know-your-customer and anti-money laundering regulations under European laws while cooperating with law enforcement to prevent illegal activities.
Four Team Members Arrested
Four team members have been arrested with the participation of Europol – Executive Director Mikhail Lunev, Marketing Manager Alexander Goncharenko, contractor Pavel Lerner (working on Monolithos DAO) and system administrator Konstantin (who was later released on bail in Cyprus). The company is currently auditing its losses due to this incident according ot Shkurenko’s statement during his interview with Dmitry Stepanin from Satoshkin Live Youtube channel.
Reopening Plans Include Moving Operations To Russian Federation
The co-founder also expressed hope that soon all charges would be dropped against all arrested people and added that they intend to relocate their business operations into Russia while still providing access for users‘ funds when they reopen again soon.
Bitzlato is taking steps towards restoring its services soon while allowing customers partial withdrawals of their holdings from before being shut down due to western law enforcement actions earlier this year as well as relocating their operations within Russia for future protection against any similar occurences again in future times ahead .
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