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   425

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.

Japan to Tighten Regulation Due to Zaif Hack

$ 62 000 000 worth cryptocurrency was stolen from the Zaif exchange few weeks ago
25 September 2018   70

Hacking of Zaif exchange is the reason for toughening control over the market by the financial regulator of Japan, Reuters reports.

The first measure taken was administrative sanctions against the exchange and its operator Tech Bureau Corp. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) has expanded the list of requirements for the latter, pointing out the need to identify preventive measures and search for the organizers of the theft.

Shortly before that, researchers of the Japanese financial company Tech Bureau Corp could not provide details of the theft of $ 62 million from the Zaif crypto exchange at the request of the FSA. The Osaka-based operator had to investigate the causes, consequences of the theft and options for compensating the victims. According to the Agency, the financial company could not cope with the task.

According to the Tech Bureau, the exchange was hacked on September 14 within a few hours. The problem with the server was discovered by the site staff on 17 September. Official confirmation of the incident and notification of the authorities was made only a day later.

Recall, the theft of $ 60 million from the Japanese stock exchange Zaif caused a surge of volatility of bitcoin. For a short time the price was able to overcome the distance of $ 400.