New Zealand: International anti-money laundering investigation leads NZ police to freeze $140 million

Police have restrained $140 million from the Canton Business Corporation and its owner Alexander Vinnik, who were holding funds in a New Zealand company.

It is the largest restraint of funds of its kind in New Zealand history.

Vinnik, owner of Canton previously operated the cryptocurrency exchange, BTC-e, which operates from the United States. It’s alleged the exchange had no anti-money laundering (AML) controls and policies.

The police’s asset recovery unit has restrained a total of $165.4m in cash and bank accounts and nearly $63m worth of assets and property in the last 11 months.

Cyber-criminals and criminals used the company to launder the proceeds of various criminal enterprises, including computer hacking, ransomware attacks, theft, fraud, corruption and drug crime through BTC-e.

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