Spanish Authorities have unraveled a crypto money laundering ring operating within the country which was estimated to have laundered money in cryptocurrencies amounting to $10 million. The Guardia Civil announced that they have busted the group and dismantled the ring, the members of the group are being charged with facilitating crypto transactions for other criminal entities.
The Spanish Police believe that the group was able to successfully launder $10 million in Bitcoin and other digital assets. A total of 8 individuals have been charged, while 8 more will be charged for being a participant in the operation. The authorities have also frozen several crypto wallets with $9 million funds, out of which 4 were found to be cold wallets while 20 were hot wallets.
According to a statement made by the European Police Agency, the Spanish authorities also blocked several bank accounts and recovered around €17,000 in cash, together with 11 cars, and various digital devices were also seized.
How Did the Money Laundering Take Place?
The group involved in the crypto money laundering case has been operating quite sophisticatedly through a cryptocurrency exchange enterprise, which worked quite similar to a normal crypto exchange. The group offered fiat to crypto conversion on their exchange, and in order to make their operations look more legitimate, they have also opened two Bitcoin ATMs.
The money laundering ring was operated by technically competent members who used several layering techniques to hide the origin of the funds and the purpose behind it. The large sum of money used to be divided into smaller blocks and then these smaller chunks of money were deposited in bank accounts to avoid any kind of suspicion.
The group also used many cooperate entities to help them with a large sum of money deposit in the bank.
The Increasing Crypto Money Laundering Activities
There has been a significant increase in the cases of money laundering using cryptocurrencies, given most of the countries do not have full-fledged regulations in place, and crypto offers an easy way of transferring money without having to go through a plethora of paperwork.
Apart from the current example of Spanish authorities busting a money laundering ring, earlier this week German authorities also shut down a dark web market place which has been dealing in crypto for over two years.