In Spain, eight people have been arrested for allegedly operating a money laundering scheme involving cryptocurrencies, Europol announced in a press release on May 8.
Per the release, the group 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.
As Cointelegraph reported at the end of April, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance announced that two men plead guilty for illicitly selling steroids and controlled substances and laundering millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies and Western Union payments.
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.