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Cryptocurrencies

Europol dismantled crypto money laundering service in Spain

Thursday 9 May 2019 | 11:18 AM CET

Europol has supported Spain in catching a criminal organisation, which provided large-scale crypto money laundering services to other criminal organisations.

The criminals carried out several money laundering schemes, such as the transfer from fiat currency to virtual assets to hide the illegal origin of the proceeds. Some of the fraudsters used crypto ATMs and smurfing, a criminal method that splits illicit proceeds into smaller sums, and places these small amounts into the financial system to avoid suspicious transaction reporting.

The Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) arrested eight people, and charged eight more for involvement in the crypto money laundering ring. Moreover, eleven vehicles, EUR 16 800, almost 200 cannabis plants, two crypto ATMs, computers, devices, jewels, and relevant documents were seized. The authorities froze several bank accounts, four ‘cold wallets’ and 20 ‘hot wallets’, to which EUR 9 million was transferred.

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