Earlier this week, U.S. officials arrested Roman Sterlingov in connection with his running Bitcoin Fog, a cryptocurrency mixing service, or "tumbler," that obscures the source of cryptocurrencies. The criminal charges include unlicensed money transmission and money laundering. According to the government, Bitcoin Fog, over the course of its decade-long operation, moved over 1.2 million bitcoin - valued at approximately $335 million at the time of the transactions - most of which came from darknet marketplaces and was tied to illegal narcotics, computer fraud and abuse activities, and identity theft. Also this week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Eric Meiggs pled guilty to conducting a scheme involving "SIM-swapping," i.e., obtaining victims' cell phone numbers and SIM cards by lying to their phone carriers and tricking them into transferring the data and cards. According to the government, once Meiggs and his co-conspirators stole the phone numbers and SIM cards they were able to hack into various victim accounts and steal more than $530,000 in cryptocurrencies.

Late last week, Turkish officials detained dozens of people as part of an investigation into Thodex, a Turkish cryptocurrency platform accused of fraud, which froze user accounts and whose founder and CEO, Faruk Fatih Ozer, had gone into hiding at the beginning of the controversy - allegedly taking billions of dollars' worth of user funds with him. Ozer has since resurfaced in Albania, and Turkey is reportedly working with Interpol to arrest him. The Thodex case comes on the heels of Turkey's announcement, made earlier this month, that it was banning the use of cryptocurrencies for payments. According to reports, the Turkish government is currently contemplating new regulations for the cryptocurrency industry.

In South Korea, tax officials have reportedly begun an initiative aimed at individuals who have been hiding assets using cryptocurrencies. According to recent reports, government officials recently seized approximately $22 million in cryptocurrencies from exchange accounts of 676 alleged tax offenders.

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