Spanish police under the leadership of representatives of Europol have arrested members of a criminal gang that is using cryptocurrency to launder money obtained from drug trafficking and other gangs. During the operation, Tulipan Blanca, with the support of the authorities of Finland and the NSA fell under suspicion of 137 people, while 11 were arrested.
Located in Spain the suspects received cash from Colombian drug traffickers, placed them on the large number of Bank accounts in small amounts and removed from payment cards in Colombia. Then they found a new way, which allowed to conduct transactions with a greater degree of anonymity. The funds began to convert: using the crypto currency exchange to bitcoins and back in Fiat currency — Colombian peso with placing on accounts in banks of Colombia the same day. According to the investigation, therefore, through 174 Bank accounts were laundered more than 8 million euros.
To identify such schemes in the future, the representatives of Europol is scheduled to hold a special training for representatives of law enforcement agencies of EU countries.
Recall that, according to Europol, in Europe, almost $5.5 billion in illegal income laundered using cryptocurrency. At the same time, according to the American organization Foundation for Defense of Democracies and analytical company Elliptic, among all bitcoin transactions about 1% is used for the laundering of illegal funds.