Chinese police have arrested over 1,000 people suspected of using cryptocurrency to launder money from telephone and internet scams. The Ministry of Public Security said police have detained more than 170 criminal groups involved in the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering.
This is the next phase of a nationwide campaign to combat money laundering, which is called Operation Card Breaking. To date, as part of the operation, the Chinese police have arrested more than 311,000 people and dismantled 15,000 criminal organizations.
Telecommunications criminals typically use fake or stolen SIM cards and hacked bank accounts to launder money through the traditional banking system. Recently, the Chinese police have stepped up their surveillance of commercial banks and black markets, making it harder for criminals.
According to the ministry’s official statement, money launderers charged their criminal clients a commission of 1.5 to 5% for converting illicit proceeds into virtual currency through crypto exchanges. The China Payments and Clearing Association claims that nearly 13% of gambling sites support the use of virtual currencies, and blockchain technology has made it difficult for authorities to track money.
El Salvador yesterday became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. At the same time, El Salvador does not have its own currency.