New Zealand police have recovered USD 90 million in connection with the case against alleged Bitcoin money launderer Alexander Vinnik.
According to Jared Savage of the New Zealand Herald, the police Asset Recovery Unit has frozen some NZD 140 million (USD 90 million) controlled by a company in connection with the Vinnik investigation.
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Police Commissioner Andrew Coster told the publication that local authorities have been coordinating with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to deal with the lost funds.
The money recovered „likely reflects the benefit gained from the victimization of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people around the world as a result of cybercrime and organized crime,“ according to Coster.
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Money laundering and arrest
Vinnik was accused of laundering 300,000 Bitcoin (BTC), some US$4 billion, over six years through BTC-e, one of the largest cryptomoney exchanges in the world at the time. Some of the ill-gotten funds may have even come from the infamous Mt.
The Russian citizen known as „Mr. Bitcoin“ was arrested during a vacation in Greece in 2017 and extradited to France earlier this year. As we go to press, Vinnik is still in France awaiting charges of money laundering, extortion and conspiracy, but could be extradited to the United States or his native Russia.