Europol has shut down a drug trafficking ring that utilized cryptocurrencies and credit score cards to launder extra than €8 million via a Finnish crypto exchange, it introduced on Monday.
The European law enforcement company coordinated the investigation, which was executed by Spain’s Guardia Civil in conjunction with Finnish authorities and the investigative arm of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety. The agencies arrested 11 folks, according to a assertion. The funds have been laundered from Spain to Colombia via an unnamed cryptocurrency and credit score cards.
About 137 folks have been investigated, and the suspects utilized a complete of 174 bank accounts, according to the assertion, which ongoing:
“The criminals based in Spain have been contacted by drug traffickers to launder money obtained from their unlawful pursuits. They picked up the illicit proceeds in money, which have been then split into smaller portions to be deposited into hundreds of third bank accounts.”
With the money “circulating in the economic technique” the alleged criminals first utilized credit score cards to withdraw the money in Colombia, but fearing discovery, they subsequently shifted to changing the funds into cryptocurrency and then into Colombian pesos via the Finnish crypto exchange.
Europol’s assertion mentioned that the unnamed exchange cooperated with Finnish authorities by sharing the suspects’ information.
The EU law enforcement company said it strategies to reinforce its attempts to police prison pursuits carried out with cryptocurrencies.
“Europol will go on to coordinate across EU Member States and beyond, to effectively answer to this increasing menace,” its assertion examine, incorporating that it has executed “specialised teaching courses to support law enforcement officers in determining the use of cryptocurrencies by structured criminal offense networks.”
Europol has beforehand issued stories on the illicit usage of cryptocurrencies, most just lately warning that zcash, monero and ether are increasingly implicated in cybercrimes in addition to bitcoin.
Spanish patrol motor vehicle impression by way of Shutterstock