Thursday, 20 February, marked a significant milestone in FIOD’s investigations that caught fire last May (2019).
The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, also known as J5, went public with the announcement of the first step to success in a money-laundering scandal involving a crypto firm known as Bestmixer.io.
J5 said FIOD or the Fiscal Intelligence & investigation Services of Netherlands had finally apprehended two men in line with the probe.
The two Dutchmen are accused of laundering money (in millions of dollars) through a Cryptocurrency platform known as Bestmixer.io.
The Dutch authorities narrowed down on the two male suspects, aged 31 and 45, in separate crypto money-laundering investigations.
FIOD has had Bestmixer.io on the scope for crypto money laundering allegations since May last year and has since been partnering with Europol and Luxembourg police in their efforts to catch up with the perpetrators.
Suspects Looted 200 million US dollars in a Year
Thorough investigations into the matter revealed a clever tactic.
The crypto service promised users full privacy and anonymity, ran operations for a year, and shut down business after raking in a whopping “at least $200 million.” Further findings revealed that most of the mixed cryptocurrencies on the platform Bestmixer.io came from a fraudulent origin or went to a phony destination.
The accused initiated large transactions using Cryptocurrency credit cards that didn’t equal their income and assets and did several withdrawal transactions.
Dutch authorities said it detained lots of property (and evidence) related to the crypto money-laundering scandal.
Bank Accounts, Crypto Credit & Debit cards, and Other Property recovered
Among the items recovered include; 3kgs of Gold, €260,000 (worth 281,000 US dollars), a luxury vehicle, wristwatches, and jewels.
Other recovered pieces of evidence include digital accounts, business accounts as well as debit & credit cards that the suspects used in their year-long operation.
The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement is a union of tax implementation authorities from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands. It was mainly established to curb cross-border tax scams and money-laundering activities.
Another Case of Crypto Money-laundering
Cases of money-laundering through cryptocurrencies are getting popular. Just last year, in early December, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay €15 million ($16.6 million) in penalties to close an ongoing tax evasion and money-laundering probe.
According to Frankfurt prosecutors, two perpetrators from the German banking institution had set up accounts that laundered Bitcoin between 2013 and 2018.
A call to action!
Law enforcers should be more proactive if we are going to crack down on money-launderers. Maybe several similar schemes are live as we speak. But all are hidden to the eye until someday a whistleblower ruins the party.