Recently, a huge money-laundering ring has now been shut down in Hong Kong after it had been revealed that the syndicate was utilizing USDT (Tether) in order to transfer funds.
Hong Kong Customs had been able to break up the money-laundering ring, which had, up until this point, transferred a total of $155 million (HK$1.2 billion) through cryptocurrency. This is, unfortunately, yet another example of the dark side of the crypto industry, with money laundering, terrorist financing, scams, cyber-attacks, and other fraudulent activities becoming increasingly common nowadays.
It was also revealed that the syndicate’s leader had multiple shell companies in his pocket, but this had backfired as it had been through the tracking of these companies and corresponding suspicious patterns relating to the transactions that the authorities had been alerted and an investigation had been opened.
Including the ringleader himself, a total of 4 men had been involved with the money-laundering ring. All of these individuals had been subsequently arrested in conjunction with the operation ‘Coin Breaker’. As per the latest reports, all suspects have been currently released on bail.
This case involving money laundering utilizing cryptocurrency is actually the very 1st of its kind in the entire history of Hong Kong, despite the fact that schemes such as this have existed for a long time and continue to do so in the other parts of the world. This just goes to show that no country is safe from such fraudulent and potentially dangerous activities.
As previously mentioned, Tether had been used by the criminals in order to launder most of the funds. Authorities were able to discover 40 wallets that had been linked to the case. Furthermore, it is unclear right now as to which crypto exchanges may have been involved in processing these illegal transactions, but the investigation shall be looking into this matter as well.
A huge amount of money had been laundered
The syndicate had been operational from February of last year to May of this year, and while it had been active, charging clients a fee of a maximum of 5% was common practice.
Additionally, a total of $2.5 million (HK$20 million) profits had been raked in by the criminals, which were not frozen via the local authorities. British police officials had also seized $408 million recently (all in crypto) within the previous month alone as part of the money-laundering investigation, which is still currently ongoing.