Europol Supports Spanish Police In Dismantling Crypto Laundering Ring

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Europol has supported Spain in dismantling a criminal organization providing large-scale crypto money laundering services to other criminal organizations, Europol announced today.

The criminals ran several money laundering schemes involving the transfer from fiat currency to virtual assets in an effort to hide the illegal origin of the proceeds. The criminals used crypto ATMs and a method known as smurfing – splitting illicit proceeds into smaller sums and placing these small amounts into the financial system to avoid suspicious transaction reporting.

The Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) arrested eight people and charged eight more for involvement in the crypto money laundering ring. Seven houses were searched as a part of the operation. The Spanish authorities froze four ‘cold wallets’ and 20 ‘hot wallets’, to which €9 million was transferred, as well as several bank accounts.

The organization managed a cryptocurrency exchange business, including two crypto ATMs to deposit criminal cash and transform it into cryptocurrency for other criminal groups. Cash pick-ups were carried out by cash-carriers followed by smurfing techniques to deposit the criminal cash in several bank accounts controlled by the organization. The funds were moved through several accounts in the process of layering. Afterwards, the money was exchanged into cryptocurrency.

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