The European Union police agency (Europol) said it arrested five senior executives of the sanctioned Bitzlato exchange.
The EU agency said Jan. 23 that the people arrested include the CEO, financial director, and marketing director in Spain.
The arrest was made following eight house searches across Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, and the US.
In the course of the house search, Europol said it seized about €18 million ($19.5 million) worth of cryptocurrency and froze over 100 crypto accounts holding assets worth about €50 million ($54.3 million).
Europol added that Bitzlato facilitated the laundering of various crypto-assets, including 119 Bitcoin worth €2.1 billion.
Further analysis by Europol disclosed that about 46% of the assets exchanged through Bitzlato worth roughly €1 billion ($1.08 billion) had links to criminal activities.
On Jan 18, Bitzlato’s founder Anatoly Legkodymov was arrested by the US authorities for running a money-transmitting business. In addition, leading crypto exchange Binance was named as a top three recipient of Bitzlato’s illegal funds.