Chinese police have arrested a gang of people accused of laundering $1.7 billion (12 billion in Chinese yuan). Its 63 members laundered their funds using crypto in May 2021.
According to a local report, the gang used money from illegal sources like gambling, fraud, and pyramid schemes and changed it into a popular stablecoin, Tether. The Public Security Bureau of China noted that the fraudsters later converted their funds into yuan using various wallets.
The gang used Telegram, a Russia-originated encrypted messaging app baned in China, to lure people. The scheme participants would receive small commissions based on the amounts laundered.
Public Security Bureau got this alert after noticing a high monthly transaction volume of 10 million yuans from one of the culprits. While the gang laundered billions in yuan, the police managed to confiscate about 130 million.
According to a recent statement, the PSB dispatched more than 200 police officers to 17 provinces and autonomous regions. The release notes that the investigation and detentions took three months.
China fights to curb crypto
Since then, crypto-related networks and actions have been severely cracked down. Last year, the Chinese police managed to track over 1100 people for money laundering using crypto.
However, based on recent reports, their attempts are seemingly futile since many people still use crypto in the country. Chinese users turned to overseas crypto exchanges to trade their crypto assets.
As China is cracking down on crypto, many other countries worldwide are trying to introduce policies that will help control the industry. The European Union is already forging a regulation called MiCA targeted at crypto. In other countries, crypto exchanges and networks can apply for licenses.