The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) has recently suspended two cryptocurrency exchanges after they conducted raids conducted by the Australian Federal Police in Melbourne. The raids have resulted in the arrest of a 27-year-old who has been described as a “key member” of both exchanges.
According to recent reports, the man has been arrested, in the suburb of Bulleen, in Melbourne has resulted in the suspension of two Australian cryptocurrency exchanges. The exchanges’ registrations were immediately suspended after the man’s arrest, and Austrac national manager of regulatory operations Dr. Nathan Newman stated that the exchanges will not be given permission to resume operations until further notice. He also said,
“Our decision to suspend the registration of the two businesses means they can no longer lawfully operate.”
Reports say that the individual had been involved with possessing, importing, and trafficking approximately 30 kilograms of narcotics, which included MDMA, cocaine, methamphetamine, as well as ketamine. The individual is alleged to have “played a key role in directing the operations of the criminal syndicate, which used various darknet sites, bitcoin accounts and legitimate business for the sourcing, payment, and distribution of the illicit drugs.” He has been charged for whatever he was guilty of.
Following a court order, more than 2 million Australian dollars which amount to approximately USD $1.41 million worth of assets have been thus seized by the Australian Federal Police following the man’s arrest. His assets included numerous true estate properties, bank accounts, fiat currency, cryptocurrency, motor vehicles, and a motorbike. The video that has been released of the man’s arrest shows the seizure of a BMW motorcycle by police.
An as part of the initial investigation of the same case, a raid had been conducted as a result of which over 33 kilograms of controlled substances were seized. The raid had also resulted in two arrests back in 2017.
Paul Hopkins, the Australian Federal Police detective superintendent, stated:
“Investigations such as this are inherently complex and the operational results achieved by the investigative team are a testament to good police work and strong inter-agency cooperation.”