Shalom Lior A, the suspected mastermind of a criminal group laundering money for drug cartels having ties with one of the biggest crypto exchanges, was brought to Poland from the Netherlands last week.
According to multiple local media reports, the Israeli national laundered around PLN 1.4 billion (more than $380.6 million) for Columbian drug cartels. This is the largest sum of this kind ceased by the Polish prosecutors.
“On May 20, with the use of extraordinary security measures, the head of an organized crime group was brought from the Netherlands to Poland, which washed away 1.4 billion zlotys from drug trafficking,” the Polish authorities said in a press statement (translated quote).
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Lior was arrested in Amsterdam last October with an international arrest warrant. He has been extradited to Poland after a Dutch court ruled in favor of it.
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Moreover, the money laundering case attracted international attention as Crypto Capital, the payment processing company serving crypto exchange Bitfinex and now-defunct QuadrigaCX, was in the center of it.
The seized assets by the Polish authorities include $850 million of Bitfinex, which the crypto exchange entrusted to the payment processor. The exchange ran into trouble with New York prosecutors as it was forced to open a credit line with its sister company, Teher and hide its losses. Both the crypto companies settled the case for a fine.
Lior is only one of five suspects in the money laundering case. The Polish police have already arrested Crypto Capital’s President, Ivan Manuel Molina Lee in connection with the case in 2019.
The Polish prosecutors are now charging Lior for leading an organized crime group, money laundering and drug trafficking with a value of at least PLN 3.4 billion. He is looking at a maximum prison time of 12 years.