Man arrested on suspicion of laundering millions of euros in cryptocurrencies [English below]

This lead prompted further investigation, which revealed that the man was converting bitcoin to the privacy coin monero and vice versa. This makes the cryptocurrency harder to trace. His service could take place via the anonymous online network Bisq. The man probably made a lot of money from money laundering.

His home was searched when he was arrested. Various data carriers were seized during this process. The police investigation continues, including the digital means of payment the man is in possession of and the data carriers. The expected profit that the man would have obtained from the money laundering could be confiscated by the police in the form of cryptocurrencies. The man was sent home on Thursday 8 September and remains a suspect.

The criminal investigation is carried out by the cybercrime team of the central Dutch police in cooperation with the cybercrime team of the East Netherlands police.

What is crypto?

Cryptocurrencies are a digital means of payment: money that exists only virtually. With a cryptocurrency, you can pay without the intervention of a third party (such as a bank). Well-known cryptocurrencies are, for example, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

How do criminals get cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies, like regular money, are vulnerable to various forms of crime. In particular, the anonymous and cross-border nature of crypto offers opportunities for criminals. For example, criminals earn cryptocurrencies through extortion, hacking or fraud.

Money laundering of cryptocurrencies

Most cryptocurrencies operate in a decentralized manner unlike traditional banks. Cryptocurrencies are executed through a distributed public log called the “blockchain”, which contains a record of all transactions performed. Criminally obtained cryptocurrencies must therefore be laundered, just like ordinary money, to hide the (criminal) origin.

What is Bisq?

Bisq is a decentralized peer-to-peer exchange network with a focus on user privacy. Bisq makes it possible to exchange bitcoin for other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies (such as euros) via the Bitcoin blockchain.

Police and cryptocurrency

More and more people are using cryptocurrencies. And so do criminals. That is why the police have investigators who specialize in cryptocurrency. The number of financial and digital studies with a cryptocurrency component is therefore increasing. In the fight against cybercriminals, the Dutch police often collaborate with partners at home and abroad. For example, the police, authorities, banks and other companies conduct joint investigations, exchange information and track down suspects.

Man arrested on suspicion of laundering millions of euros worth of cryptocurrency

Early in the morning of September 6, 2022, the Dutch police arrested a 39-year-old man from the village of Veenendaal on charges of laundering cryptocurrency worth tens of millions of euros. Police identified the man after tracking bitcoin transactions. The money was stolen by making use of a malicious software update pretending to be from the open source Electrum wallet.

Investigation revealed that the man converted bitcoin to the privacy coin monero [vice versa], making the trail of transactions more difficult to trace. His service was provided via the anonymous online network Bisq. It is suspected that the man made a lot of money laundering in this way.

When the man was arrested, his home was searched and several data carriers were seized. The police’s investigation into the data carriers and the virtual currencies that the man is carrying is underway. The expected profit the man made from money laundering was seized in cryptocurrency by the police. The man was released on Thursday 8 September and remains a suspect.

The investigation is being carried out by the Central Netherlands Cyber ​​Crime Team of the Dutch Police in cooperation with the East Netherlands Cyber ​​Crime Team.

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital payment method: it is money that only exists virtually. With cryptocurrency, you can pay without an intermediary third party (such as a bank). Well-known cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin and Ethereum.

How do criminals get into cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency, like regular money, is vulnerable to all forms of crime. In particular, the anonymous and cross-border nature of cryptocurrency provides opportunities for criminals. For example, criminals can obtain cryptocurrency through extortion, hacking or fraud.

Cryptocurrency money laundering

Most cryptocurrencies operate in a decentralized manner unlike traditional banks. Cryptocurrency is conducted through a distributed public ledger called blockchain, which provides an overview of all transactions performed. Criminally obtained cryptocurrency must be laundered to disguise the criminal origin.

What is Bisq?

Bisq is a decentralized peer-to-peer exchange network, aimed at user privacy. Bisq is a platform used to trade bitcoin for various forms of cryptocurrency and fiat currency (such as euros) over the Bitcoin blockchain.

Police and cryptocurrency

More and more people are using cryptocurrency. And so are criminals. That is why the police have investigators specializing in cryptocurrency. The number of financial and digital studies with a cryptocurrency component is increasing. In the fight against cybercriminals, the Dutch police work closely with partners in the Netherlands and abroad. For example, authorities, banks and other companies conduct joint investigations with the police, exchange information and detect suspects.

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