Europol Arrests Criminals Using Crypto for Money Laundering

The suspects deposited more than 8 million euros in cash using 174 bank accounts
11 April 2018   523

Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union formed to handle criminal intelligence and combat serious international organised crime and terrorism through cooperation between competent authorities of EU Member States, has carried out a special operation and eventually caught a group of criminals involved in money laundering using cryptocurrency. The crime ring of 11 people laundered more than 8 million euros from drug trafficking.

Europol has coordinated a Tulipan Blanca operation which was performed by Spanish Guardia Civil along with Finnish authorities and Homeland Security Investigation of US. Members of a crime ring, based in Spain, were laundering money made from selling drugs by using credit cards and cryptocurrencies, and then sending money back to Colombian drug dealers.

Tulipan blanca operation by EuropolTulipan blanca operation by Europol

According to the Europol press release the criminals linked credit cards to the bank accounts, and then some of the criminals travelled to Colombia with credit cards and made several cash withdrawals from the bank accounts.

They [criminals] picked up the illicit proceeds in cash, which were then split into small quantities to be deposited into hundreds of third bank accounts – a criminal method known as smurfing.
 

Europol Press Release

As a result, 11 individuals were arrested and 137 more are currently under investigation. Reportedly suspects deposited more than 8 million euros in cash using 174 bank accounts.

Europol reported that it has organised special training courses to assist law enforcement officers in identifying the use of cryptocurrencies by organised crime networks.

Most Crypto-Optimists Live in Norway, Bitflyer Study

According to bitFlyer's poll on future of crypto, europeans believes cryptocurrency has future
24 April 2019   107

Most Europeans believe that in ten years digital currencies will continue to be in demand, but they do not have the same confidence about Bitcoin. This is reported by Cryptonews, citing a study of the bitFlyer.

10 thousand people from ten European countries took part in the online survey. Of these, 63% believe in a “bright future” cryptocurrency. However, not all Europeans are confident in the future of Bitcoin - only 55% believe that the first cryptocurrency will exist in ten years.

It is also noteworthy that, despite the fall in prices of most cryptocurrencies that lasted for almost a year, the majority of respondents positively assessed the prospects for the development of the market.

Most of the “crypto-optimists” turned out to live in Norway - 73% of the inhabitants of this Scandinavian country are convinced that a decade later, digital currencies will still be in society. This is followed by Italy (68%), the Netherlands and Poland close the top four (67% each).

The percentage of consumers who believe cryptocurrencies will still exist in 10 years’ time
The percentage of consumers who believe cryptocurrencies will still exist in 10 years’ time

But the exact form of cryptocurrency will exist, almost no one knows. Only 8% believe that they will become money, and 7% - a tool for investment or a means of preserving value.

The fact that Bitcoin is not generating as much support as other cryptocurrencies is in part a symptom of the market’s volatility, but is also a direct impact of the constant media attention that is associated to its volatility.
 

Andy Bryant

COO, bitFlyer Europe

He also added that the study demonstrated how much remains to be done to increase public awareness of the benefits and opportunities of cryptocurrencies.