The Guardia Civil has announced that it has just uncovered and dismantled a cryptocurrency money-laundering ring worth $10 million. This group of individuals is being charged with facilitating crypto transactions for other criminal entities. Dubbed a “crime as a service” operation, the Spanish police believe it succeeded in laundering over €9 million worth of Bitcoin and other digital tokens.
A total of eight were arrested and will be charged in connection with this crime. The authorities have also confirmed that a further eight will be charged with involvement. Cryptocurrency wallets believed to hold about €9 million were also ceased and frozen. Amongst these wallets, the police found four cold wallets and 20 hot wallets.
According to a statement made by the European Police Agency, Europol, the Spanish authorities also blocked several bank accounts. €17,000 in cash, together with 11 cars, and various digital devices were also seized.
Investigations carried out by the Guardia Civil have uncovered that the ring operated what is basically a cryptocurrency exchange enterprise. Just like a legitimate exchange, the group was offering their clients the possibility to change fiar currency into digital assets. To make the operations appear even more legitimate, the arrested group also owned and operated two Bitcoin ATMs.
Professionals in their field, the group used several layering techniques and smurfing to hide the origin and purpose of the funds. Such practices are common with organised groups who operating money-laundering schemes. As one example, they would split the funds into several blocks and then deposit each block in a different bank account owned by different members of the gang. They would then move the money between several of their accounts before exchanging it for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
To help them in their operations, the group has used several corporate entities to help them make the larger bank deposits. Once in an account, purchasing cryptocurrency and returning it to their clients wasn’t too complicated.
This is just the latest in a series of criminal activity linked to the crypto industry. Earlier this week German authorities shut down one of the largest Dark Web Marketplaces which had been operating for two years.
Another case which hit the headlines happened in the U.S. in late April. The Department of Justice charged two individuals with operating and managing the Deep Dot Web. Both individuals are Israeli men, with one being caught in Israel and another in Paris. The website was known for providing reviews on darknet marketplaces and websites and thus facilitated the promotion of entities operating in the dark web.
And, of course, a news story which is still making headlines is the theft of $41 million in Bitcoin from the world’s largest exchange, Binance.
Industry analysts believe that this spike in charges reflects the increased use of cryptocurrency as well as the ability of enforcement authorities to tackle crime in the digital spectrum.
Binance has released background information about their latest initiative, Venus, which shares some striking similarities and seems like a competitor to the much-anticipated Facebook stablecoin, Project Libra. Which will come out on top? While the details of the new coin remain merely as a sketch. For now, there are some important initial details from Binance HQ which give an insight […]
The popular cryptocurrency wallet, Guarda has teamed up with ETHplode to formulate a giveaway which can see users win 200 ETHPLO tokens. The purpose of the new promotion is to help users learn more about ETHplode. With this in mind, the core of the giveaway revolves around a quiz about the growing crypto asset. However, […]
A candid story has recently been published on the BBC after one of its very own had a substantial amount of Ethereum currency stolen. Monty Munford, the BBC’s Technology of Business reporter, detailed how cybercriminals succeeded to steal £25,000 worth of Ethereum. Munford hopes that his story will alert other crypto users of the real […]
Now in its second year, Deribit’s Perpetual Contracts have proven one of its most popular products on their platform. In a newly released blog post, they have outlined the pros it offers against other big-name competitors in the same field. Their contracts have been available to traders since August 2018 and is described by Deribit […]
After the reveal of three separate promotions this time last week, CoinEX are back again with a brand-new promotion that allows users to borrow their first trade free of charge for 30 days. Now in its second month of existence, CoinEx’s margin trading service has been quite a hit amongst users and with new updates […]
In 10 days, Exmo will be offering the latest token on their platform for trading, ROOBEE. In anticipation of this, they have released important details for traders who are looking to take advantage of the new listing early on. What is most unique about this latest listing is that it will coincide with the listing […]
Following the acquisition of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet and cold storage location, Coinbase Custody is now the world’s largest crypto custodian. After the completion of the deal, Coinbase Custody officially surpassed $7 billion in assets, which saw them reach the highest volume of assets in the business. Officially making them the most popular choice for […]
EXMO has made new changes to the minimum withdrawals of bitcoin from their platform. The platform informed users on Tuesday, 13th August, that the limit would come into immediate effect. With the new limit for withdrawals being set at 0.002 BTC, which sees a decrease by 5 times. Users have been told to consider this […]