Authorities in Hong Kong have arrested four people suspected of money laundering a total of $155 million through cryptocurrency wallets and bank accounts. The city’s customs agency said this was its first case in which virtual money had been used to launder dirty cash.
Money Laundering Syndicate Recycles $155 Million in Crypto and Fiat Transactions
The criminal group is believed to have processed illegal funds for a total of 1.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($155 million), Hong Kong Customs announced Thursday. In an operation code-named “Coin Breaker,” officers detained the suspected ring leader and three other residents of China’s special administrative region.
The money laundering syndicate started its criminal activities last year and has been using three shell companies. The entities opened e-wallet accounts with an unnamed digital asset platform to trade the stablecoin tether (USDT). Authorities think the mastermind of the scheme convinced the other individuals to register as executives of the three firms.