The Netherlands’ financial crime agency arrested Tornado Cash developer

The Netherlands’ financial crime agency arrested Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev (29) for alleged involvement in facilitating money laundering through the platform, handling at least one billion dollars in criminal origin cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash and froze their assets, emphasizing increased scrutiny of technologies supporting illicit activities. This case involves a unique scenario where an open-source developer faces charges for misuse of the platform created.

On 10 August, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) arrested Alexey Pertsev (29) as the suspected developer behind Tornado Cash online service.

A couple of days earlier, on 8 August, the US Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash online service and froze all their property in the hand of US regulators. The Treasury also issued a list of cryptocurrency wallet addresses affected by these sanctions.

The FIOD mentioned in the statement that ‘advanced technologies, such as decentralised organisations (DAO) that may facilitate money laundering are receiving extra attention’ from the financial watchdog.

‘Investigations showed that at least one billion dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies of criminal origin passed through the mixer. It is suspected that persons behind this organisation have made large-scale profits from these transactions’.

This is a rare case in which an open-source developer has been charged for illicit activities performed on the platform he created.

The investigation is led by the Public Prosecutor’s Office for serious fraud, environmental crime, and asset confiscation.