Drug Gang Caught Bitcoin Laundering by Brazilian Federal Police
As the fight against cryptocurrency crime continues across the globe, a massive drug smuggling operation has been caught bitcoin laundering in Brazil. The Brazilian Federal Police are in the news for arresting 12 suspects connected to a gang who have conspired to launder millions of dollars in bitcoin from smuggling drugs into Asia, Europe, and Africa.
One of the main concerns and constant thorns in the side of the crypto community is how the digital currency is sometimes used by criminals who are looking for an anonymous way to launder their ill-gotten gains. Some might say that criminals do the same with fiat currency too, and they would be correct.
Busted for Bitcoin Laundering
The Brazilian Federal Police are in celebration mode since arresting 12 suspects involved with bitcoin laundering. The news was reported by the Portuguese-speaking news outlet, Folha de S.Paulo, who have detailed that the police worked in coordination with the nation’s Department of Federal Revenue to bust the operations of the gang.
The operation was dubbed “Anitigoon” and involved over 100 police officers who made 15 arrests in total and executed 21 search warrants in relation to the case right across the country in locations such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Espírito Santo.
The operation took place over the course of a year and included the seizure of 4-tonnes of cocaine in various ports around Brazil. The drugs were originally manufactured in Bolivia and Colombia and were meant to be shifted from the ports and rerouted to Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Crypto laundering operation
Brazil has long been a shipping corridor for Bolivian and Colombian drug organizations and the West. Carlos Eduardo Thome, Per Federal Police delegate, said that the gang received massive parts of its payments via cryptocurrency, which has resulted in this large bitcoin laundering operation. He went on to comment that the gang used crypto because it is easier to evade authorities with digital currency. “The gang received part of its payments in virtual currencies to make them difficult to track, and to avoid getting their massive and atypical money movements detected.”
At this stage, nobody is quite sure how much money was involved in the bitcoin laundering operation, and as the Federal Police are yet to release the figures, we are in the dark. Among the people arrested in the sting were airport employees, businessmen, and even truck drivers. This all comes at a time when bitcoin is making many positive news stories across Brazil.
Federal Police delegate, Osvaldo Scalezi, reckons that other South American drug cartels are involved in the gang and are currently being investigated. As part of this international operation, seizures have also taken place in Spain, Belgium, and Italy. Apparently, the main players in the gang set up spurious companies across the world to ship the drugs.
In recent months, cryptocurrencies have become very popular throughout Brazil and other South American nations for many legitimate reasons. It’s just the facts of life that bitcoin laundering is used by drug cartels and gangs to launder their ill-gotten gains through a variety of fiat currencies, most notably in US dollars.
I am very experienced writer/blogger who has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community for several years. I have experience writing for crypto news sites and proactively been involved in the startup of other ICO and crypto ventures over the course of the past four years.