Australian Man Charged With Laundering $4.3 Million Into Bitcoin
Australian Authorities have charged a Sydney man for alleged money laundering activities. This also marks the second high-profile money laundering arrest by the Police in recent months.
$4.3 million Laundered In Bitcoin
Australian local news outlet the Australian Financial Review reported the news on Monday, February 22, 2021. According to the report, the New South Wales Police arrested a citizen named Yi Zhong on Monday. Zhong was arrested after police officers stopped his car in a Sydney suburb for a routine search. He was found to own $1 million in cash, cocaine, and electronic devices, which the Police seized.
Zhong is also alleged to have been attempting to convert $4.3million cash into bitcoin using money launderers. According to the report, he now faces drug-dealing and money laundering charges and was refused bail by the Burwood Local Court.
The local Police expect more arrests as they uncover the scope of Zhong’s operations within the city. Australia has been tough on money-laundering schemes involving cryptocurrencies in recent months. Also, the report states that the process was led by a cybercrime team named Strike Force Curns set up in October to monitor money-laundering activities.
Second Major Crypto-Related Money Laundering Arrest
Therefore, the arrest of Zhong marks the second major crypto-related money laundering case in Australia in 12 months. Last May, the Police charged an Australian woman for unlawfully exchanging millions of dollars in a money-laundering scheme.
As per reports, the woman was caught after a search of her car in Sydney. The investigation resulted in $38,736 in cash and 3.8 bitcoin in a cold wallet device seized by authorities. The Police further stated that the suspect was believed to be involved in a crypto money-laundering syndicate.
Money laundering is a significant problem faced by governments across the world for decades. However, the advent of cryptocurrencies has made it difficult for authorities to monitor money transfers from criminals.
Criminal syndicates now make their transactions using cryptocurrencies as they look to circumvent traditional banking systems. However, as regulations continue to tighten globally, it could become increasingly difficult for criminals to use cryptocurrency to launder money.