The website of Australian cryptocurrency exchange Auscoin has been taken offline, following the arrest of founder Sam Karagiozis.
In a sign the company is in serious trouble, visitors to auscoin.io are receiving an error message that says “this page isn’t working.” It’s unclear if and when the page will be back up and running.
Micky broke the story about the arrest by Australian Federal Police on Friday but chose not to identify the suspect for legal reasons. Several mainstream news outlets have since named Karagiozis as the person taken into custody.
The 27-year-old, who has the words “self made” tattooed on his fingers, has been charged with trafficking about 30 kilograms of drugs, including cocaine, MDMA, and methamphetamine.
Police will allege he played a key role in directing the operations of a criminal syndicate, which used various dark net sites, Bitcoin accounts and legitimate businesses for the sourcing, payment, and distribution of illicit drugs.
Following the arrest, financial regulator AUSTRAC suspended the registrations of two digital currency exchange businesses he is associated with, one of them being Auscoin.
Several bank accounts, real estate properties, motor vehicles, a motorbike, cash, and cryptocurrency, worth more than AU$2M have also been restrained by the AFP, following a court order.
It was only two months ago that Karagiozis was boasting about the success of Auscoin in a struggling cryptocurrency market.
“We currently have 31 Auscoin ATMs in Australia … and our turnover is $500,000 a week, which is just insane considering how much the price of Bitcoin has dropped,” Karagiozis told the Daily Mail.
According to The Age, Karagiozis was refused bail in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court last week.