The Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) has arrested two men for allegedly laundering money with cryptocurrencies.
According to a statement released by the International Revenue Service on Feb. 18, the two men were arrested on Feb. 17 in connection to two separate criminal investigations into money laundering using cryptocurrencies. Both investigations were led by the National Office for Serious Fraud, Environmental Crime and Asset Confiscation.
The money trail
One of the suspects was a 45-year-old man who is accused of laundering 2.1 million euros. He purportedly used large purchases with a cryptocurrency-backed credit card that the Netherlands tax authorities could not explain based on his income and assets.
He also allegedly withdrew 10,000 euros (nearly $10,800) in cash. Several of his possessions were seized, including three kilograms of gold, 260,000 euros in crypto (over $280,000) debit and credit cards, a car and luxury goods such as watches and jewelry.
The other suspect is accused of having laundered 100,000 euros (nearly $108,000). He allegedly used cryptocurrency mixing service Bestmixer, but authorities were able to identify the IP address associated with his Bitcoin address.
As Cointelegraph reported in May 2019, Dutch and Luxembourg authorities along with Europol shut down one of the three largest cryptocurrency tumblers.
Cryptocurrencies and money laundering
Financial regulators around the globe have suggested that there is a relationship between money laundering and cryptocurrencies on multiple occasions. Recently, the Central Bank of Russia published a new set of rules for suspicious transactions that broadly categorizes any cryptocurrency-linked transaction as a potential money laundering risk.
In an attempt to reduce the money laundering risks associated with cryptocurrencies, Swiss regulators recently passed new rules that lower the threshold for unidentified crypto exchange transactions from 5,000 francs to 1,000 francs (approximately $1,020).