A recent court ruling in the UK confirmed that a drug smuggling gang uses cryptocurrency payment for money laundering via Coinbase exchange.
The UK is a very big hub for the Crypto sector. The financial regulators regulate the crypto sector in the UK’s jurisdiction on behalf of semi-traditional financial rules. The financial conduct authority (FCA) is the dominant crypto regulatory body, responsible for delivering regulatory approval for the new crypto companies. In short, we can say that Crypto laws are highly strict in the UK and it is not easy for bad actors to use crypto in illegal activities.
A long time back, a few people were caught by enforcement agencies over alleged drugs (ecstasy, ketamine, and other class-A drugs) smuggling.
On Thursday of this week, a UK court judge ruled against the drug smugglers gang. This gang has sold nearly 40 Kg of drugs so far.
The gang leader converted $2.1 million worth of cash into cryptocurrencies. More than $176,000 worth of cryptocurrencies has been missing from his crypto wallet and are unrecoverable but traceable, as cryptocurrency transactions remain transparent to the public.
These gang members used their family & friends’ Coinbase crypto wallet accounts to launder the money, obviously for high profit in the form of commission in a small amount of time. All together laundered nearly $5.2 million via cryptocurrency use.
The court judge said:
“This is one of the first cases in Gwent where cryptocurrency was used to launder money.”
The gang members were sentenced to a combined 88 years for such illegal activities.
Notably, the court judge appreciated the role of the cybercrime unit, which successfully traced the fund’s transactions to uncover the drug smugglers.
Few media reports appreciated the transparent nature of crypto networks, which also helped the investigators to catch the bad actors’ links easily.