THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch financial prosecutors say they detained a man suspected of involvement in “concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering” through the virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash.
The 29-year-old man was arrested Aug. 10 in Amsterdam, the financial prosecution service FIOD said in a statement Friday. The suspect’s identity was not released, in line with Dutch privacy regulations.
Mixing services combine various digital assets, including potentially illegally obtained funds and legitimately obtained funds, so the holders of illegally gained assets can obscure the origin of stolen funds.
FIOD’s Financial Advanced Cyber Team launched an investigation into Tornado Cash in June.
The team said in a statement that Tornado Cash “has been used to conceal large-scale criminal money flows, including from (online) thefts of cryptocurrencies.”
It said some of the suspected criminal funds were stolen by hackers with links to North Korea.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on Tornado Cash, which has allegedly helped to launder more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019.
At the time, Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic, a blockchain analysis firm, said “it should be noted that there are legitimate uses of mixers such as Tornado, such as to preserve financial privacy.”