$90 million in assets have been recovered by the New Zealand police reportedly belonging to Alexander Vinnik known as the Russian Bitcoin Launderer. According to the latest reports, the funds were present in now defunct crypto exchange BTC- e and Vinnik’s company Canton Business Corporation which was also the managing shell company for BTC-e.
The police have now frozen the money (Roughly 140 Million New Zealand Dollars) controlled by a company in connection to the accused according to Jared Savage (NZ Herald). The New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster stated that the New Zealand Police had worked closely with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States to take into this very serious wrongdoing and finally manage to track down the lost funds. The money that has now been recovered is “likely to reflect the profit gained from the victimization of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people globally as a result of cybercrime and organized crime,” according to Coster.
Earlier, Vinnik was reportedly accused of laundering 300,000 Bitcoin (BTC) which roughly comes up to over $4 Billion over a period of 6 years through his defunct BTC-e. There are also claims that some of those funds may have come from the hack of Mt.Gox ( A japan based crypto exchange) previously. The Russian national known as “Mr. Bitcoin” was arrested during a vacation in Greece in 2017 and extradited to France earlier this year. As of press time, 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.