The Major Transnational Crime Involving Cryptocurrency

Ritika Sharma
Ritika Kumari Sharma is an Economics Honors graduate from the University of Calcutta. She is completely into finance and believes that cryptocurrencies are the future. She is an enthusiast learner about the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
  • Law enforcement officials from 16 different countries came together and acted against a major transnational money laundering operation involving Cryptocurrency
  • Organization has been accused for laundering tens of millions of euros
  • 2BaGoldMule was led by the officials in order to search for these cybercriminals

In a recent report, Law enforcement officials from 16 different countries came together and acted against a major transnational money laundering operation involving Cryptocurrency. As per Europol’s announcement, on October 15, 2020, around 20 members of a global crypto-powered money laundering cartel is said to have been arrested in one of the cases. A Romanian and two Bulgarians are said to be among the alleged members of QQAAZZ, a group which specialized in laundering money for cybercriminals. And also, a Bitcoin mining farm was run by them in Bulgaria.

The organization has been accused of laundering tens of millions of euros and has been termed as top cybercriminals since the year 2016. The illegally obtained funds were allegedly transferred through various means like international bank accounts, shell companies based in Poland and Bulgaria, and via cryptocurrency mixing services. The money stolen from the victims by the cyber-criminals and laundered by QQAAZZ include a tech company in Windsor, Connecticut, a Jewish synagogue in Brooklyn, New York, a medical device manufacturer in York, Pennsylvania, and other few individuals from various U.S. states.

A part of Operation 2BaGoldMule was led by the officials in order to search for these cybercriminals. As per report, around 40 homes were searched across the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Latvia and Bulgaria, with arrests made in the U.S, Australia, the U.K, Portugal, Spain, Latvia and Poland.

Further Arrests

On the same day, in New Zealand, a 40-year-old man was arrested for laundering more than $2 million for criminals with the usage of cryptocurrency. The man also laundered funds by purchasing luxury vehicles, as such as a Lamborghini and a Mercedes G63. He is currently facing 30 charges, including allegations of obtaining $1 million in credit from a bank using deception.

Earlier, six other New Zealand citizens were arrested in a series of raids and asset seizures across the country. The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed a superseding indictment by charging the six individuals for their participation in the conspiracy of laundering millions of dollars. Also, one suspect has been accused for trying to bribe one of the state officials of the United States Department with cryptocurrency, in the hopes of getting fraudulent U.S. passports for his associates and himself.

The Indictment

The individuals who have used casinos, front companies, cash smuggling, and bank accounts to launder money on behalf of drug syndicates will be will be facing the indictment.

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