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British police arrest two Londoners suspected of running $1.2b crypto exchange

british-police-arrest-two-londoners-suspected-of-running-1-2b-crypto-exchange
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British police arrest two Londoners suspected of running $1.2b crypto exchange

The British FCA alongside the Metropolitan Police Service has arrested two individuals, suspected of running an illegal multi-billion crypto exchange.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in collaboration with the Metropolitan Police Service, has arrested two residents of London suspected of operating an illegal crypto exchange.

In a Thursday press release, the FCA said authorities believe that over £1 billion ($1.2 billion) worth of unregistered crypto have been traded through the business. The document doesn’t disclose the names of the arrested nor the name of the exchange they were running.

The press release notes the FCA conducted inspections at the suspects’ associated offices, while the police “seized several digital devices during searches of 2 residential London properties.”

“Both suspects were interviewed under caution by the FCA and released on bail. The FCA’s investigation into the case is ongoing,” The Financial Conduct Authority stated.

Commenting on the arrests, Therese Chambers, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, stated the action shows the agency will do “everything in our power to stop crypto firms from operating illegally in the U.K.”

Under U.K. law, crypto exchange providers must register with the FCA and comply with money laundering regulations to operate legally. Not all international crypto companies have been granted licenses to offer services in the U.K., with Binance and Bybit becoming unavailable after the FCA crackdown.

In early May, the U.K. Treasury presented a report on its work over the past two years, highlighting efforts in monitoring the crypto market. The document, titled “Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing,” revealed that between 2022 and 2023, the FCA examined the activities of 238 firms, with approximately one-third of its staff involved in overseeing crypto-related operations.