Hong Kong Customs has reportedly put a stop to a significant money-laundering syndicate that involved the use of cryptocurrency.
Criminals have started to venture into the digital world, taking advantage of the fact that the crypto industry isn’t entirely regulated. However, authorities from across the globe have stepped up their game and made arrangements to deal with crimes involving the crypto industry. Hong Kong’s customs was one of them as they managed to disassemble a money-laundering syndicate that carried out a $155 million transfer.
The South China Post revealed that the police captured four men between the age of 24 and 33 for the same. This list included the leader of the syndicate along with the others that helped him out.
Hong Kong encounters its first crypto money laundering case
The money-laundering syndicate was reportedly started back in February 2020 and functioned all the way up to May 2021. A total of HK 1.2 billion had been illegally transferred through different bank accounts. About 60% of the funds were sent through bank accounts in Singapore.
The transaction pattern of the ring leader was what raised suspicion, which further instigated the investigation. Noting how this case was the first of its kind in the city, the Senior Superintendent Mark Woo Wai-kwan of customs’ syndicate crimes investigation bureau stated,
“It is the first time in Hong Kong that a money-laundering ring involved in using cryptocurrency to wash dirty cash and conceal the source of criminal assets was broken up.”
Furthermore, it was noted that those involved in the”Coin Breaker” case were employing the world’s largest stablecoin, Tether [USDT], to launder most of their funds. Around 40 wallets associated with the money laundering ring were found by the authorities during the investigation.
No cryptocurrency exchange’s name surfaced. The authorities hadn’t revealed what crypto platform was processing the illegal transactions carried out by the money laundering syndicate.