This has been a particularly difficult week for crypto. First there was the Binance hack which had the entire industry on edge, and now there has been another bust in Spain, of an alleged money laundering scheme involving cryptocurrencies. So far eight people have been arrested in that case.
The scheme was conducted by a group of people, who laundered money by exchanging fiat currency to crypto assets. Sources claim that this group was using cryptocurrency ATMs for this purpose. To avoid any suspicion, they split funds into smaller sums to conduct the transactions.
These criminals maintained a large network of banks, where they would move around the cash that they had, and exchange it for crypto. Some of them also sent large transfers from their own corporate accounts, and even wired money to cryptocurrency exchanges.
The authorities launched an investigation into the case, and conducted an expansive investigation. They searched seven houses, including a money exchange office and an indoor cannabis cultivation plant. The items seized by the authorities include eleven vehicles, €16,800 ($18,800), nearly 200 cannabis plants, two crypto ATMs, jewels, relevant documents and computers.
The authorities also froze four cold wallets and 20 hot wallets, which allegedly contained about €9 million ($10,000). This has been an incredible win for the Spanish authorities who promptly made eight arrests in this case.
The crypto world is time and again falling prey to such elaborate hacks and scams, which understandably affect market sentiment and can also have an impact on the prices.