The Spanish National Police have arrested the founder of the Spain-North Korean Friendship Association who was wanted by the United States FBI on the charge of fraud and sanctions busting.
Alejandro Cao de Benós, 47, was arrested as he alighted the train from Barcelona at Madrid´s Atocha Station, yesterday, Firday 1st December,
He had been tracked by the Spanish authorities on behalf of the US Department of Justice who had issued an international arrest warrant in 2018 for fraud and aiding the North Korean regime evade United Nations and US sanctions.
Cao de Benós, could face up to 20 years in prison sentence if convicted.
The FBI had been seeking is arrest in Spain when he founded the Friendship Association with North Korea.
According to the FBI, Cao de Benós, 47, who was born in Tarragona, facilitated the trip to North Korea of Virgil Griffith, the former developer of the Ethereum cryptocurrency, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to help North Korea evade sanctions .
He was sentenced in the US to five years in prison and a fine of $100,000.
The FBI accuses Cao de Benós of taking “measures to conceal these activities from US authorities,” and that he organized several conferences on cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the North Korean capital, with the help of Griffith, who is an expert in cryptocurrencies.
North Korea is believed to have made billions of dollars by using the unregulated currency to avoid US and UN sanctions on the regime.
In a statement released by himself on social networks after learning that he was wanted, Cao de Benós denied these accusations and also that he was a “fugitive”, since he had not been able to leave Spain for “six years”, with his “passport retained” by the Spanish authorities.