A Spanish individual named Alejandro Cao de Benós has been arrested in Madrid under suspicion of providing instruction to North Koreans on the use of cryptocurrencies to evade US sanctions.
A Spanish individual named Alejandro Cao de Benós has been arrested in Madrid under suspicion of providing instruction to North Koreans on the use of cryptocurrencies to evade US sanctions. The arrest was carried out by Spain's National Police
after receiving information from Interpol regarding Cao de Benós' presence in the country.
According to a police statement, investigators identified Cao de Benós while he was traveling from Barcelona to Madrid by train and subsequently detained him upon his arrival. It is believed that he may have been utilizing counterfeit identification documents.
In 2022, US authorities issued an arrest warrant for Cao de Benós, alleging his collaboration with a US citizen in delivering cryptocurrency and blockchain services to North Korea in violation of legal regulations. The FBI's wanted list identifies Cao de Benós as the founder of the Korean Friendship Association.
The Spanish police have stated that Cao de Benós purportedly organized multiple conferences on cryptocurrencies and blockchain in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, during 2018, effectively circumventing sanctions imposed by the US. If convicted in the US, he could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
Cao de Benós has vehemently denied the accusations, issuing a statement in which he referred to them as "completely false" and emphasized the absence of evidence linking him to Virgil Griffiths. North Korea has illicitly obtained over $3 billion in cryptocurrency since 2017, according to a report
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