Today, Friday, August 12, 2022, a 29-year-old man who is believed to be the developer of the crypto mixing service Tornado Cash has been arrested by Dutch authorities. Remember that the United States placed the mixing service on its sanctions list this week following followed allegations that Tornado Cash was helping conceal billions in capital flows, especially for North Korean hackers.
By mixing cryptocurrencies, the online service makes aids in concealing the origin or destination of digital payments, increasing their anonymity.
Tornado Cash is one of the largest crypto blenders identified as problematic by the US Treasury.
The Dutch public prosecutor’s office for serious fraud, environmental crime, and asset confiscation (FIOD) claimed that Tornado was suspected of having laundered more than $7 billion of virtual currency since it was created in 2019. However, Tornado Cash did not reply to a request for comment.
The FIOD said the man, who was not identified, was arrested in Amsterdam on Wednesday. He is believed to have helped facilitate criminal transactions, including “funds stolen through hacks by a group believed to be associated with North Korea.” The 29-year-old man faces money laundering charges.
According to FIOD’s statement, the Financial Advanced Cyber Team division of the FIOD started a criminal investigation into Tornado Cash in June. It found Tornado Cash had been used to conceal large-scale criminal money flows, including from (online) thefts of cryptocurrencies.
Further arrests have not been ruled out, prosecutors said.