Netherlands Arrests Suspected Developer of Sanctioned Crypto-Mixing Service Tornado Cash

The country's Fiscal Information and Investigation Service hasn't ruled out making more arrests.

AccessTimeIconAug 12, 2022 at 10:10 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:20 p.m. UTC

A 29-year-old developer suspected of being involved in the Tornado Cash protocol that's been sanctioned by the U.S. was arrested in Amsterdam on Friday, according to a statement from the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD).

  • FIOD, which began its investigation in June, said it hasn't ruled out making multiple arrests in the case. Dutch prosecutors are investigating the matter on suspicions of fraud, environmental crime and asset confiscation.
  • Social media speculation that the developer was Alexey Pertsev was subsequently confirmed by his wife, according to a report by The Block.
  • Tornado Cash is an Ethereum blockchain-based crypto mixing service that allows users to gain a cloak of anonymity when transferring crypto assets. On Monday, the service was sanctioned by the U.S. government for assisting criminals in laundering stolen money.
  • An FIOD spokesperson told CoinDesk the suspect will now spend 14 days in custody after being seen by an examining judge in the Den Bosch court.
  • FIOD is also giving "extra attention" to decentralized autonomous organizations that may facilitate money laundering, the release said.
  • According to reports by several users on Twitter, the Discord channel of the crypto mixer has also gone offline. Its website has not been online since Aug. 8.

UPDATE (Aug 12, 11:30 UTC): Adds that suspect will be brought before a judge and that FIOD is looking at DAOs.

UPDATE (Aug 12, 13:32 UTC): Adds information on the Discord channel being offline in the fourth bullet.

UPDATE (Aug 12, 14:25 UTC): Adds information on court proceedings.

UPDATE (Aug 12, 15:47 UTC): Adds report of the suspect's name.


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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.