Crypto and crime now appear inseparable. Several Brazil crypto exchange firms are currently under probe by the police. Law enforcement have seized $33 million in an anti-money laundering operation.
According to a police statement, the probe called ‘Operation Exchange’covered six search warrants in Sao Paulo’s Diadema municipality and the capital city itself.
With investigations on these Brazil crypto exchange firms and the entire money laundering operation still ongoing, the police have established clearly that several cryptocurrency exchanges helped gangs launder money.
Police in the statement claimed to have found 17 bogus companies set up by criminals to launder money through Brazil crypto exchange firms. After successfully laundering the money, the criminals send the money into an offshore account.
Reportedly one of the many Brazil crypto exchanges laundered $1.93 million from six fictitious companies while eight other crypto firms received $2.9 million in crypto.
According to the police, the exchange firms which they have already confronted are yet to verify the origin of the funds or the veracity of the companies. The court has ordered the seizure of the assets from two people connected with the investigation.
Before Brazil crypto exchange probe “Operation Daemon”
Before ‘Operation Exchange,’ which has led to the grand revelation of exchange firms involved in money laundering, it was “Operation Daemon,” for Brazil police.
During the operation, a theft on at least 7,000 victims was investigated, and around $300 million embezzlements was uncovered.
The operation also led to the arrest of Cláudio Oliveira, also known as “The Bitcoin King.”
He headed Bitcoin Banco Group, a custodian firm that promised extraordinary profits to anyone who trusted the company with their funds. But the firm claimed to have lost 7,000 Bitcoins at the end of 2019.
After Oliveira’s arrest, the Federal Police confiscated several assets owned by him, including luxury cars, large amounts of cash, and cryptocurrency hard wallets.
The entire “Operation Daemon” took police in Brazil Police three years to uncover.
Crypto for crime, regulators go tough
Apparently, the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency has made it a complete safe haven for criminals who keep using digital assets to commit crimes.
The rate at which regulators continue to burst crime rings linked with crypto recently has been on the rise. It has alerted regulators globally to continue device means of bringing crypto under their control.
The European Union recently announced plans to put stricter crypto regulations in place.
The Union said it will mandate crypto firms to collect the multiple sender and receiver personal data in every crypto transaction among many other tough restrictions for it to be able to properly control the crypto space.
All these measures are as a result of the rising crime rate crypto is used for.
After EU, American regulators the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also been on the neck of crypto offenders prosecuting many. Others are being crackdown on and some are seriously being investigated.