Tornado Cash website seen on a laptop and smartphone screen in London on Tuesday 15th March 2022.
Luke MacGregor | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Dutch authorities said on Friday they had arrested a 29-year-old man believed to be a developer of crypto-mixing service Tornado Cash, which the United States added to its sanctions list this week.
The US sanctions announced on Monday followed allegations that Tornado Cash is helping to cover up billions of dollars in capital flows, including to North Korean hackers.
By mixing cryptocurrencies, the online service enables the concealment of the origin or destination of digital payments and increases their anonymity.
Tornado Cash is one of the largest crypto scams identified as problematic by the US Treasury Department.
The Dutch Prosecutor’s Office for Serious Fraud, Environmental Crime and Confiscation (FIOD) said Tornado has been suspected of laundering more than $7 billion worth of virtual currencies since its inception in 2019.
Tornado Cash did not respond to a request for comment.
According to FIOD, the man, who has not been identified, was arrested in Amsterdam on Wednesday. He is believed to have helped facilitate criminal transactions, including “funds stolen via hacks from a group believed to be linked to North Korea”. He faces money laundering charges.
In June, the FIOD’s Financial Advanced Cyber Team launched a criminal investigation into Tornado Cash, the statement said. It turned out that Tornado Cash had been used to disguise large-scale criminal money flows, including (online) cryptocurrency thefts.
According to the public prosecutor, further arrests cannot be ruled out.
Monday’s move froze all of the cryptomixer’s U.S. assets and generally bans Americans from handling it.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/12/dutch-detain-suspected-developer-of-crypto-mixer-tornado-cash.html Dutch arrest suspected developer of cryptomixer Tornado Cash