- On August 24, a Dutch judge denied bail for Perstev, adding that he must remain in prison for 90 days.
- No formal charge filed against him yet. He was arrested on suspicion of “involvement in concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering” through Tornado Cash.
- His arrest led to protests all over the world.
Earlier this month, the Treasury Department sanctioned Tornado Cash, a crypto mixer, for allegedly allowing North Korean hackers to launder over $7B of digital crypto assets stolen in virtual heists. Following this, on August 10, the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) arrested a 29-year-old suspected developer of Tornado cash Alexey Perstev.
On August 24, a Dutch judge denied bail for Perstev, adding that he must remain in prison for 90 days.
Perstev was first brought to the judge on August 12, and the examining judge agreed to keep him in custody for two weeks.
Later on August 24, Pertsev’s lawyers applied for bail, which was rejected. The court further set a 90-day deadline for an initial public hearing.
According to the Dutch financial crime authority FIOD, his arrest was suspected of “involvement in concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering” through the decentralized Ethereum mixing service Tornado Cash.
FIOD’s Financial Advanced Cyber Team launched an investigation into Tornado Cash in June. The team said that Tornado Cash “has been used to conceal large-scale criminal money flows, including from (online) thefts of cryptocurrencies.” Dutch authorities have not stated just which laws Pertsev allegedly broke, which had led to protests all around the world seeking his release.
The fact that Perstev has not been charged with a formal crime and yet he is languishing in jail under suspicion has triggered the crypto enthusiasts.
The crypto community rallied behind Alexey Pertsev, raising over 2,000 signatures in a petition to raise awareness about his case and potentially free him.
The Change.org petition, created by Helsinki-based product manager Daria Mironova, states the “accusations against Perstev threaten to kill the entire open-source software segment.”
Many crypto enthusiasts argue the accusations against Alex threaten to kill the entire open-source software segment. Pertsev’s arrest also raises questions about how involved an individual has to be in a protocol before being liable for its misuse.