Police In Brazil Uncover Bitcoin Worth Millions Of Dollars Used In Money Laundering
The Federal Police of Brazil recently detained twelve people linked to a gang that supposedly used bitcoin to launder large amounts of money made through trafficking drugs in Africa, Asia, and some parts of Europe.
A local news outlet, Folha de S. Paulo confirmed that the bunch of criminals was busted in a set-up christened ‘Antigoon’. This was carried out in partnership with the nation’s Department of Federal Revenue. The operation involved more than one hundred federal policemen and successfully executed fifteen warrant of arrests, with 21 search warrants in Sao Paulo and other regions.
Tons Of Cocaine Seized
The operation was as a result of investigations which took almost a year and saw police seizing tons of cocaine from some ports in Brazil. The drugs, which were from Colombia and Bolivia, were going to be trafficked to Africa, Europe and Asia.
Over the years, Brazil has been used as a ‘shipping corridor’ whereby drugs worth millions of dollars were transported even as they eventually made their way into destinations markets. According to the Federal Police official Carlos Eduardo Thome, the criminals received part of the payments in several cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. This was done specifically to elude regulator instruments.
Carlos asserted that the bunch of criminal received part of the payments in virtual currencies in order to make it very hard to track, and also to evade getting colossal and unusual money movements discovered. It is not yet clear how much the gang moved since the police are yet to divulge all the information due to the fact that investigations are still ongoing.
Cartels in South America
Another delegate from the Federal Police, Osvald Scalezi, also revealed that the criminals are linked to drug cartels in South America, who will also be investigated. He confirmed that more criminals linked to the gang will be seized in Italy, Belgium, and Spain. Reports also indicate that the criminals set up bogus firms to traffic the drugs. In some cases, it commandeered third-party containers to ship the drugs.
By and large, virtual assets have in the recent past been popular in Brazil for good reasons. Huobi, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange is expected to launch operations in the country. It will most likely face competition from the nation’s largest investment firm, XP Investimentos.