Eight people have been reported arrested in Spain for allegedly operating a money laundering scheme involving cryptocurrencies, according to press release by Europol on May 8th 2019.
In the release, the group is said to have laundered money by exchanging fiat currency to crypto assets. The individuals reportedly used cryptocurrency ATMs and split funds into smaller sums to introduce them into the financial system without having the transactions reported as suspicious.
Participants reportedly carried cash, depositing it in several bank accounts and moving it around through different accounts before exchanging it for crypto. Large transfers were sent to accounts from corporate entities owned by the alleged criminals, who also wired money to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Seven houses were searched during the investigations, including a money exchange office and an indoor cannabis cultivation plant. Eleven vehicles, €16,800 ($18,800), nearly 200 cannabis plants, two crypto ATMs, jewels, relevant documents and computers were taken by the authorities. The report also claims that Spanish authorities froze four cold wallets and 20 hot wallets — to which €9 million ($10,000) was transferred — in an unspecified way.
In mid-April, New York state prosecutors also indicted three men for the sale of illicit drugs on the dark web and laundering $2.3 million in cryptocurrency.