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Chinese police arrest 63 people accused of laundering $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency via tether stablecoin

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An illustration picture shows a gold-plated souvenir cryptocurrency Tether coin in front of a screen displaying a trading chart.A gang is accused of converting illicit proceeds into the tether cryptocurrency.

JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

  • Police in China said 63 people accused of laundering as much as 12 billion Chinese yuan ($1.7 billion) using cryptocurrency have been arrested. 
  • A gang is accused the stablecoin tether to launder proceeds from pyramid schemes and other criminal activities. 
  • Police running the investigation destroyed more than 10 money-laundering dens. 

Police in China said they have arrested 63 people facing criminal charges of using cryptocurrency to launder as much as 12 billion Chinese yuan ($1.7 billion). 

A gang in May 2021 started converting proceeds from pyramid schemes, fraud, gambling and other illicit activities into tether, a so-called stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, according to a weekend statement from the Tongliao Public Security Bureau that serves eastern Inner Mongolia. 

At least 130 million Chinese yuan worth of proceeds were confiscated following an investigation that involved more than 200 police officers. The investigation was jumpstarted in July after a local bank account held by one of the accused suspects was used for monthly deposits of more than 10 million yuan in cash. 

The gang was accused of using messaging service Telegram – which is blocked in China – to hire people to establish anonymous blockchain accounts and then paid commissions. Police running the investigation at the Horqin branch destroyed more than 10 money-laundering dens. 

The arrests took place after China last year ordered a ban on cryptocurrency mining and trading.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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