The operators of an illegal French Bitcoin exchange have been collared by the gendarmes and their Bitcoin holdings confiscated.
A sketchy story out of Reuters
says that the raid netted €200,000 worth of the crypto-currency, but
doesn't outline what specific laws the exchange is accused of breaking.
The Reuters story merely states:
“Two people in the Riviera coastal cities of Cannes and Nice were
placed under formal investigation on Friday and detained on suspicion
that they operated a website which illegally sold and lent Bitcoins to
It adds that the people charged were also under
investigation for possible “illegal banking, money laundering and
illegally operating a gambling website” charges.
French outlet Le Point is more forthcoming. It explains that three people, not two, were arrested (the third was in Toulouse and seems to have been released).
“The respondents were the administrator of this illegal site, his wife and one of its suppliers”, Le Point states.
well as 388 Bitcoin (€200,000 at the time of the arrest), the gendarmes
also seized €9,000 in cash, along with credit cards and computer
hardware (since the only way to “seize” a Bitcoin is to confiscate the
machine holding the relevant data).
The police explained to Le Point
that the site was operating without the approval of the Autorité de
Contrôle Prudentiel et de Resolution – France's banking supervisor – and
between November 2013 and July 2014 had handled 2,750 transactions on
“at least 2,500 Bitcoins”.