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Hong Kong Shuts Down Massive Crypto Money Laundering Syndicate

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Thu, 07/15/2021 - 05:06
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Alex Dovbnya
Hong Kong has shut down a massive money laundering ring that relied on Tether for transferring funds
Hong Kong Shuts Down Massive Crypto Money Laundering Syndicate
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Hong Kong Customs has broken up a massive money laundering ring that illegally transferred HK$1.2 billion ($155 million) with the help of crypto, The South China Morning Post reports.  

The group leader controlled three shell companies whose suspicious transaction patterns caught the attention of the authorities and lead to a lengthy investigation.    

Four men involved in the syndicate, including the ringleader, were arrested as part of operation “Coin Breaker.” They have been released on bail.    

The crypto money laundering case is the first of its kind in Hong Kong’s history.

The criminals relied on Tether, the leading stablecoin, to launder the majority of the aforementioned sum, with authorities discovering 40 wallets linked to the money laundering ring.

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It’s not clear what cryptocurrency exchanges were responsible for processing the racket’s illegal transactions.           

The syndicate—which had been operating from February 2020 to May 2021—would charge its clientele a fee of up to five percent.        
 
The money laundering ring allegedly raked in HK$20 million ($2.5 million) in profits that have not been frozen by the authorities.

As reported by U.Today, British police recently seized a total of 294 million pounds ($408 million) worth of crypto over the past month during an ongoing money-laundering investigation.

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at alex.dovbnya@u.today.