15 May 2020 18:37
A woman from Australia was recently arrested in Sydney for providing illicit crypto exchange services. The local authorities believe that she was a part of a crime syndicate that has been running since 2017. During this time, the syndicate managed to transact a total of $3.23 million in Bitcoin. Australia has been trying to fight money laundering by introducing strict AML rules for crypto exchanges for years now. However, while the fight has helped with making the crypto industry better and safer, there are still instances of criminals misusing it for their own benefit.
A money-laundering syndicate uncovered in Australia The most recent example of this was just reported recently by Daily Mail Australia. The report revealed that the Sydney police arrested an Australian woman on May 1st, after she sold Bitcoin (BTC) for 60,000 Australian dollars. The amount roughly equals to $38,800. Furthermore, the report claims that the woman ran a money-laundering syndicate in Australia since 2017. The woman's involvement in the case is now beyond any suspicion, after the police caught her red-handed. The authorities seized 60,000 Australian dollars in cash, as well as 3.8 BTC, which is worth around $37,000 according to the current Bitcoin price. After searching the apartment of the 52-year-old woman, the police also found additional devices. That included more mobile phones, electronic storages, and computers. The woman used these devices to store an additional $11,700 in BTC. The woman was charged with knowingly dealing with the crime-related proceeds, as well as breaching crypto exchange service requirements. Over $3 million Bitcoin illegally transacted in three years As mentioned, local detectives have reason to believe that the scheme has been going on for years. The investigation itself started over a year and a half ago, in November 2018. The syndicate itself was likely 'in business' since 2017, and during this time, it transacted $3.23 million (AUS$5 million) in Bitcoin. "This is the first arrest executed by Cybercrime Squad detectives relating to non-compliant digital currency providers in New South Wales — and is believed to be the first of its kind across Australia," said the Squad's Commander, Detective Superintendent Matt Craft. He added a warning to anyone else who might be providing similar services, stating that their actions will not go unnoticed. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency users are advised to stick to operating on legal Bitcoin exchanges and brokers.