Money laundering for North Korea: crypto developers arrested in the Netherlands

Dutch authorities announced on Friday the arrest of a 29-year-old suspected of being a developer of the »Tornado Cash « To have engaged in money laundering with cryptocurrencies. The USA had already imposed sanctions against the platform on Monday because it is said to have supported a North Korean hacker group.

The Dutch financial investigation authority FIOD had against the offer according to their own statements

has been investigating since June 600 because she suspected that illegal financial flows in the billions were being processed have been. Criminal investigators did not provide any information about the identity of the developer arrested on Wednesday, but they promised further arrests.

USA blame North Korea

For the Sanctions by the USA were particularly decisive for the connections of “Tornado Cash” to the hacker group Lazarus, which is attributed to the North Korean state. “Despite public protestations to the contrary, ‘Tornado Cash’ has repeatedly failed to implement effective controls to prevent it from regularly laundering funds for malicious cyber actors,” said US Treasury Undersecretary Brian Nelson, responsible for the coercive measures against the Platform.

International law enforcement agencies like the FBI blame the hacking group Lazarus for responsible for numerous crypto raids. It’s not just about ransomware extortion. The criminal hackers also have numerous business models in the crypto industry in their sights, for example they stole digital currency from the cash register of the game “Axie Infinity” with a value equivalent to around 600 million dollars. This was supposed to be used to pay players.

Most cryptocurrencies are hardly suitable for criminal business, as transactions can be traced using the blockchain, which acts as a global statement of all holders of such currency. In order to still get hold of the stolen money, criminals use so-called mixing platforms, which mix payments from different sources and thus conceal the money flows. In the meantime, the pressure on crypto platforms is growing worldwide to implement the anti-money laundering laws that also apply to other financial platforms.

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