China – Chinese police detain 63 people for laundering billion US dollars through cryptocurrency on December 12.
Chinese police in the northern region of Inner Mongolia arrested 63 people after they laundered $1.7 billion or 12 billion yuan through cryptocurrency. The case highlighted the difficult nature of the crypto market of China, where it ranked 4th even though there was an official bank by the central government.
Since May 2021, the crypto gang involved in the laundering case collected illegal funds from online pyramid systems, gambling, and fraud. The gang converted the proceed into Tether, which is a stablecoin that’s 1:1 to the United States or the US dollar.
The gang distributed the funds across different cryptocurrency accounts that are also anonymous, before being executed into renminbi, as per the statement provided by the Public Security Bureau of Inner Mongolia in Tongliao City this weekend.
China used to be the world’s biggest digital asset investment market, yet it has a big underground community despite having little security or legal protection. According to court papers from the crisis of FTX unveiled that 8% of the customers were from China.
The police suspected that the gang used Telegram, which is an encrypted messaging app that China blocked, to connect and employ people in setting up crypto accounts. Every participant obtained a commission based on the number of crypto transactions processed. The authority seized incomes amounting to 130 million yuan from illegal ventures, as per the statement.
Cryptocurrency’s contribution to the money laundering case made it more struggling for authorities to monitor. According to an unnamed officer, trading digital asset anonymously is like establishing a physical barrier where the recipient and cash flow can’t be monitored via traditional ways.
Authorities assigned over 200 police officers to the case, wherein they worked with international cryptocurrency exchanges and tracked digital asset blockchain records as part of the probe. The authorities traced two suspects in Bangkok, Thailand, and they advised these to be deported to China.
The Chinese police received the alert in July when they used a local bank account to deposit over 10 million yuan in cash for a month. It prompted an investigation related to a suspected money laundering case, as per the announcement of the security bureau.
The case was not the first big cryptocurrency-related crime in the country. Police in Hengyang, Hunan province detained a gang in September, having 93 people involved in the same money laundering scheme. The case recorded 40 billion yuan.
Aside from that, Shanghai authorities arrested people involved in an online pyramid scheme that amounted to over 100 million yuan in March.