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   471

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.

Brazilian Central Bank to Issue Stablecoin

According to participants of the project, the issue of the BNDES coin will help restore public confidence in Brazilian state banks
17 December 2018   68

The state-owned Brazilian National Social Development Bank intends to issue a cryptocurrency token tied to the Brazilian real. It is reported by CoinDesk.

The pilot project for the production of a token BNDES based on Ethereum will start in January next year. At first, the coin will be used to finance cultural institutions. In particular, the bank will allocate a certain number of new tokens to the local cinema agency.

As the newspaper notes, the bank conducted experiments with steyblecoin throughout 2018. The consultant of the project for the release of a new “stable coin” will be the well-known Ethereum start-up ConsenSys.

According to representatives of the bank, the issue of the BNDES coin will help restore public confidence in Brazilian state banks, which are often criticized due to corruption scandals.

Also, the bank is confident that in the future, stablecoin can be used to finance organizations and projects from various fields.

Note that recently in Brazil there has been a trend towards liberalization of the regulation of cryptoindustry. For example, in October, the Brazilian Securities Commission allowed local investment companies to invest in a cryptocurrency ecosystem through the acquisition of derivatives and shares in foreign funds. It is noteworthy that at the beginning of the year the same financial regulator announced the prohibition of both direct investment in cryptocurrency and indirect investment through intermediaries in the person of foreign companies.