A Dutch judge has ordered Alexey Pertsev, the alleged developer of Tornado Cash, to stay in jail for at least three months.
Following his detention, Pertsev, developer of Tornado cash, was sent to court, where the judge ordered that he remain imprisoned for the following 14 days while authorities conducted their inquiries. He returned to court after the two-week timeframe had passed, this time with his attorneys arguing for his release on bail.
The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service detained the 29-year-old coder two weeks ago, a few days after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the Ethereum-based mixer. Treasury said that the protocol was being used to launder billions of dollars for criminals when imposing the penalties, accusations that were echoed by Dutch officials.
Den Bosch, Netherlands-based sources claim that the judge disallowed it and mandated that he remain detained for the ensuing 90 days. The Dutch government hasn’t formally accused Pertsev of any crimes as of yet.
Developer of Tornado Cash connected to FSB of Russia
Pertsev’s case is odd and has generated some controversy in some quarters. He isn’t directly associated with any criminal conduct, unlike in the majority of cases like this. Instead, he created Tornado Cash’s open-source code, which numerous criminal organizations have utilized to launder money.
Many others, including Kraken CEO Jesse Powell and Uniswap founder Hayden Adams, have denounced his arrest. Even Vitalik Buterin, who acknowledged using Tornado himself, expressed support for the developer.
While many of Pertsev’s supporters have echoed his denials of guilt, an intelligence agency has discovered that he previously worked for Digital Security OOO, a Russian company that the U.S. sanctioned in 2018 over allegations that it supported the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian intelligence agency that replaced the KGB.
It’s crucial to remember that Pertsev collaborated with the FSB-affiliated organization prior to funding Tornado Cash. Furthermore, there was no direct connection between the currency mixer and the Russian agency, according to Kharon, the intelligence outfit that uncovered the developer’s past.
Alex Zerden asserts that Pertsev’s connections to the FSB, however, present a less clear picture of his past.
“This opens up a lot of credibility issues for the developers of Tornado Cash. This is pretty profound information that informs why the U.S. government and Dutch authorities have taken certain actions,” Zerden, who is an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told Fortune.
Xenia Malik, the wife of Pertsev, has denied allegations that her husband may have committed acts of espionage while working as a contractor for the FSB at Digital Security OOO.
“Alexey has never been associated with the FSB of the Russian Federation and similar organizations. We moved to the Netherlands in the hope of a quiet, stable and free life, which is unimaginable in military Russia,” she told one outlet.