A Vietnamese man charged with washing up to $3 billion in bitcoin and crypto through money-laundering service ChipMixer, is still on the run and remains on the FBI’s most wanted list.
Minh Quốc Nguyễn, a cryptographic engineer with an electronic engineering background from Taiwan, was last month charged by the Justice Department (DoJ) with laundering money for ransomware scammers, darknet markets, fraudsters, and state-sponsored actors.
The DoJ also alleges that ChipMixer, created by Nguyễn to help criminals bypass know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering measures, was used by the Russian military, state-sponsored North Korean hackers, and a recently-collapsed exchange. This is possibly a reference to now-defunct crypto trading platform FTX.
The largest transfer of funds on the system is alleged to have taken place by North Korean hackers who used the system to launder over $700 million from Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge and Harmony’s Horizon Bridge in 2022 and 2020, respectively.
According to authorities, up to 152,000 bitcoin have made their way through ChipMixer with up to 1,900 bitcoin seized. Charges were filed against Nguyễn in Philadelphia and an FBI warrant was issued after an extensive international investigation conducted by European and US authorities and Interpol. The operation, which was headline news in Nguyễn’s native Vietnam, saw around $40 million worth of funds recovered.