Crypto Bust: China Collars 93 For Laundering $5 Billion In Digital Currencies
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China has recently become a hotbed of illegal crypto trading. The country has earned quite a reputation in the international community for cryptocurrency scams and illegal activities.
In recent months and years, there have been a number of significant illegal activities originating from the country or involving Chinese nationals.
For example, in July 2021, more than 200 victims from at least 20 countries lost $70 million to scammers posing as attractive Chinese women who convinced them to invest in crypto.
In January of this year, Chainalysis published a report that revealed Chinese crypto investors who lost $2.8 billion in infamous carpet-dragging. Eight people were arrested in the fraud.
Last July, unidentified Chinese nationals were arrested for facilitating a fake loan application involving digital currencies in India.
But perhaps the icing on the cake for this conversation is the recent dismantling by Chinese police of a four-year criminal gang responsible for laundering $5.6 billion.
The big ‘9.15’ money laundering gang
A certain “9.15” gang led by Hong Mou is said to be responsible for more than 300 remote trading cases involving various collection and payment sites across China.
The group, which has been active since 2018, also helped in fraud, gambling and cashing in illegal crypto funds into US dollars to eliminate traces of illegality.
Mou’s group managed to launder the cryptocurrency using 40 billion yuan, which roughly translates to $5.6 billion, Chinese officials say.
As a result of the actions of the Chinese authorities, 93 suspects were arrested and more than 100 computers and mobile phones used by the gang members were destroyed.
Assets amounting to 300 million yuan were also frozen in accordance with the case. The successful takedown of the group also resulted in the recovery of 7.8 million yuan in financial losses from various victims.
Cryptocurrency: The Dark Side
While this can be seen as a win for the authorities, it will undoubtedly put the asset class in a negative light again.
Over the past few years, countries such as the United States and Europe have taken rigid measures to regulate the emergence of crypto as an alternative means of finance for their citizens.
One of their strong arguments is that cryptocurrencies can be used for illegal activities and that such funds are difficult to trace at least in some way, which makes them an attractive tool for money laundering and other related crimes.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities are handling the criminal case of the already arrested suspects and Mou.
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