The Dutch police arrested a suspect in Veenendaal village, in Central Netherlands, for alleged claims of laundering tens of millions of Euros in crypto-related phishing attacks. The 39-year-old man was detained till September 8th as further investigations ensued.
The man was arrested in the early morning of September 6th, 2022, by the Dutch’s central cybercrime team in Utrecht province. The Dutch officers withheld all electronic devices and data storage appliances that the man was found to own. These seized devices will aid the ongoing investigations in search of solid evidence to finally convict the suspect.
The man was also found to own ‘suspected’ stolen funds in the form of the digital asset, Monero. Due to the proceeding investigations, the digital assets were also confiscated by the law-enforcement officers as part of the evidence to charge the middle-aged suspect.
Even though the man was released on Thursday, September 8th, investigators continued to label him a suspect as they gathered more information on the money laundering.
The Police Statement on the Suspect’s Arrest
According to the statement issued by the Dutch officers, the suspect converted BTC (Bitcoin) to a decentralized, secure, and confidential cryptocurrency known as Monero in a series of transactions. His main intention in doing these transactions was to make them difficult to track by law enforcement. According to the police, The suspect completed the transactions in the anonymous online network known as Bisq. The suspect achieved his online scams using a malicious software update designed for Electrum wallets.
The Electrum Wallet
Electrum is an open-source cryptocurrency wallet that has offered Bitcoin-only services to retail and institutional investors for over a decade. The wallet allows end-users to store safely, send, receive and make instant payments through the Bitcoin Lightning Network (BLN).
The Dutch police did not offer a lot of information on the case. However, they stated to BleepingComputer that the suspect and his counterparts distributed the Electrum update by sending fraudulent emails pretending to be trustworthy companies to induce victims to surrender their personal information, including but not limited to passwords and credit card information.
Police also further suspect that the man has been involved in similar transactions other than the most recent one that raised the eyebrows of the Dutch Cybersecurity team.
Active Investigators in the Case
The police statement concluded that the Central Netherlands Dutch Police Cybercrime team should collaborate with the Cybercrime team from Eastern Netherlands to conclude the investigations with enough evidence to convict the suspect in a Court of Law.
Earlier (Wednesday, August 10th), a similar incident occurred where the Dutch police arrested a 29-year-old online entrepreneur for money laundering charges. The man was arrested in Amsterdam after police suspected he was connected to criminal financial flows. Police also tied the man to money laundering through interchanging cryptocurrencies through Tornado Cash, a decentralized Ethereum mixing service.
A ‘Perfect’ Remedy
Crypto phishing and money laundering attacks have recently been on the rise. Unfortunately, as technology advances, scammers get new advanced methods of fraudulently obtaining digital assets from oblivious victims. However, the public is advised to do thorough research before undertaking any transaction or revealing any information connected to their decentralized assets.