Suspicion of crypto-money laundering: Dutch investigators arrest two men

The Dutch Tax Investigation and Investigation Service (FIOD) has arrested two men on suspicion of money laundering with cryptocurrency.

The two men were arrested on 17 February in connection with two separate criminal investigations into money laundering using cryptocurrencies, according to a statement by the International Tax Authority on 18 February. Both investigations are being conducted by the National Office of Serious Fraud, Environmental Crime and Asset Seizure.


The way of money

One of the suspects was a 45-year-old man accused of having laundered 2.1 million euros. He allegedly made large purchases with a crypto-credit card, which the Dutch tax authorities were unable to reconcile with his income and assets.

He is also alleged to have withdrawn 10,000 euros in cash. Several of his possessions were confiscated, including three kilos of gold, 260,000 euros on crypto debit and credit cards, a car and luxury goods such as watches and jewellery.

The other suspect is accused of having laundered 100,000 euros. He is said to have used the crypto-currency mixing service Bestmixer, but the authorities had been able to identify the IP address associated with his Bitcoin address.

As the Cointelegraph reported in May 2019, the Dutch and Luxembourg authorities, together with Europol, have shut down one of the three largest crypto-currency mixers.

Cryptocurrencies and money laundering

Financial regulators around the world believe that cryptographic currencies and money laundering are closely related. Recently, the Russian central bank published a new set of rules for suspicious transactions, which classifies every crypto transaction as a potential money laundering risk on a large scale.

In order to reduce the money laundering risks associated with crypto-currencies, the Swiss supervisory authorities recently adopted new rules which lowered the threshold for unregistered crypto transactions from CHF 5,000 to CHF 1,000.