Police busted a crime ring based in Spain that used credit cards and cryptocurrencies to launder €8mn ($9.8mn) from drug traffickers, Europol said on Monday.
The money launderers received the illicit proceeds from Colombian drug traffickers in cash. The cash was then divided up into small quantities and deposited into hundreds of bank accounts.
"As the cash was already circulating in the financial system, the ring just needed to transfer the criminal money back to the drug dealers in Colombia," a statement from EU law enforcement agency said.
"Once the criminals realised that cash withdrawals and bank operations were easy to track, they changed their laundering methods and turned to cryptocurrencies, mainly bitcoin," the Hague-based Europol explained.
Eleven people were arrested and 137 others are being investigated. The operations were led by Spain's Civil Guard with US and Finnish support.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Finns turn to berry-picking as coronavirus job losses bite
WHO: ‘Evidence is emerging’ of airborne spread of coronavirus
Chancellor set to announce £3bn package of green investment
Actor Depp rejects ex-wife’s abuse claims
Paris Louvre reopens after lengthy virus shutdown
Croatia’s conservatives score stunning victory
Fashion must enforce inclusion: Naomi Campbell
Government unveils £1.5bn assistance to culture sector
French bus driver brain dead after assault for refusing maskless riders