Crypto exchange Bitfinex denied media reports linking them to drug trafficking and money-laundering schemes operated by the owners of Crypto Capital.
Earlier today, reports originating from Poland sources informed readers that Polish prosecutors arrested Crypto Capital president Ivan Manuel Molina. The case involves many details and a long link of individuals that were eventually leading to Bitfinex, with a potential association with cocaine cartel involvements.
“We cannot speak about Crypto Capital’s other clients, but any suggestion that Crypto Capital laundered drug proceeds or any other illicit funds at the behest of Bitfinex or its customers is categorically false,” the crypto exchange said in a statement.
Bitfinex specifically opposed claims from Polish news outlets in which it was described as implicated in laundering up to 1.5 billion zloty ($390 million) from illegal sources.
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Polish media source RMF 24 reported that two companies likely affiliated with Crypto Capital specialize in money laundering. The scale of financial operations indicates that these bills were to hide the proceeds of smuggling drugs from Colombian cartels to Europe. The companies were also used for large scale scams while criminals have tapped Bitfinex to wash their operations, obliterating traces by exchanging money for cryptocurrencies.
An $850 million crypto mystery
“During that period, Bitfinex relied upon various systematic representations from Crypto Capital, including from Molina and Yosef, that proved to be false. Among those misrepresentations, Crypto Capital regularly referred to its integrity, banking expertise, robust compliance programme and financial licences,” Bitfinex further explains the situation that could spark yet another extensive investigation in the US.
Bitfinex and Crypto Capital have been already involved with each other because the major crypto venue was unable to access about $850 million in client and corporate funds that are still tied up with the Panamanian payment processor.
Until last week, Bitfinex has been claiming that the funds were merely seized, not lost; thus, they are theoretically recoverable. However, it is difficult to verify this information or determine an accurate timeline for recovery as the funds were reportedly seized by government authorities in the US, Poland, and Portugal.
The wild story took another turn in April as the New York attorney general accused Bitfinex, who shares a parent company with Tether, of using $700 million from the stablecoin reserves to cover up losses of $850 million.