Sam Karagiozis, a flamboyant Bitcoin trader with a great deal of crypto wealth to flaunt, has recently been arrested by the Australian Federal Police on charges of prolific drug trafficking.
Given the use of cryptocurrencies is frequently associated with illegal transaction, often conducted over the dark web, this might make for troubling implications for the role of crypto in facilitating crime, although there is no way to be sure yet.
Karagiozis was known for his immense wealth and flashy cars such as the Lamborghini he frequently drove around. He is also the man behind a Bitcoin ATM company, known as the “Auscoin”. He was allegedly involved in trafficking around 30 kg of drugs. These drugs included notorious substances like MDMA, methamphetamine and cocaine.
According to a local mainstream media outlet called The Age, Karagiozis was involved in the active running and organising of a layered crime syndicate. Apparently, in the course of these illegal deals, they used the infamous dark net to finalize and settle.
At the same time, Bitcoin accounts were apparently used in these deals as well, alongside the drawing of funds from legitimate businesses for paying for and distributing the drugs.
It seems that customers of these illicit substances placed orders for batches of them via the dark web. These orders were apparently fulfilled in Australia by using the postal service.
The financial intelligence agency of the country, AUSTRAC worked together with the Australian Federal Police to go raid Karagiozis’s home and other properties.
In the course of the raids, the authorities seized cash money, steroids and things related to his crypto career. In total, he has been charged with 14 offences for importing, trafficking and taking possession of drugs.
Besides these measures, the AUSTRAC has also suspended the registrations for two cryptocurrency exchanges maintained by two businesses allegedly linked to Karagiozis.
Having been denied bail by the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court, Karagiozis is expected to take to the court stands in June.
The police have confiscated over 2 million dollars worth of assets in connection to the case and these include cryptocurrencies, bank accounts, cars, real estate properties etc.