Published On: Wed, Apr 11th, 2018

Europol Takes Down Major Bitcoin Money Laundering Network

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European law enforcement agency Europol has taken down a criminal network allegedly using cryptocurrency to launder drug money.
Tulipan Blanca
On Monday, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) announced that it had arrested 11 people and identified 137 suspects potentially involved in a criminal network utilizing cryptocurrencies and credit cards to launder money from illegal drug sales.
According to reports, Europol’s operation has been named Tulipan Blanca was carried out by the Spanish security forces, which received additional support from Finland and the US Homeland Security Department. Stated Europol:
As a result of the operation the Spanish Guardia Civil carried out eight searches and seized several computers, devices and the equipment used to commit the crimes, such as money bags or money counting machines … The investigation shows that the suspects deposited more than EUR 8 million in cash using 174 bank accounts.

Europol also claimed that its investigation revealed that the alleged criminals used bitcoin to launder money, citing its increased difficulty in terms of tracking funds. However, bitcoin is actually fairly easily tracked compared to other, privacy-focused digital currencies like Monero — and Europol had little difficulty acquiring all the information it needed. Noted the agency:
The …

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