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China Arrests 63 Gang Members For Laundering $1.7B With Crypto

2 mins
Updated by Paolo Besabella
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In Brief

  • The Chinese authorities arrested a gang of 63 for laundering $1.7 billion with crypto.
  • The authorities had previously arrested a gang of 93 for similar offenses.
  • Crypto use by illegal actors have considerably dropped in 2022.
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Chinese authorities have arrested a gang of 63 people for laundering 12 billion Yuan ($1.7 billion) using crypto.

According to local media reports, the Horqin Branch of the Public Security Bureau of Tongliao City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, disclosed that it has successfully eliminated the money laundering gang.

The Gang Was Investigated for 3 Months

The police in Horqin Branch first took an interest in the gang after the Public Security Department of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region warned about abnormal capital flow for Shi Mouyuan’s construction bank card.

Further investigations showed that the gang spread across several provinces and cities. Some members of the gang were even arrested in faraway Thailand.

It took the task force of 230 police officers three months to comb through 17 provinces, cities, and autonomous regions before they could arrest the 63 suspects, including the leaders’ Zhang and Ji.

Authorities also disclosed that the gang has been operating since May 2021 and made the illicit funds through fraud, pyramid schemes, gambling, and other illicit activities. The gang then employed the use of crypto assets to launder their illicit wealth.

China Previously Arrested 93 Suspects

This is not the first time that Chinese authorities have busted criminal gangs laundering funds with cryptocurrencies. Some months ago, the Hengyang County Public Security Bureau arrested a gang that laundered 40 million yuan using crypto.

The gang, which has been active since 2018, was involved in more than 300 electronic fraud cases with victims including the director of the County Public Security Bureau, Liu Xialong. There were 93 suspects arrested in the case.

This shows the prevalence of crypto-related crimes in the country and explains the anti-crypto stance of the government. But even a government crackdown has not been able to wipe out cryptocurrency use or Bitcoin mining in the country.

Crypto Use For Criminal Activities has Dropped

Meanwhile, the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for criminal activities has dropped this year, according to data from Chainalysis. Illicit activity involving cryptocurrencies dropped by 15% as of July 2022, and overall scam revenue is down 65%.

Crypto use for illegal activities
Source: Chainalysis
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Oluwapelumi Adejumo
Oluwapelumi believes Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to change the world for the better. He is an avid reader and began writing about crypto in 2020.