- A huge four-year money laundering operation in China has been busted
- Ringleader Hong Moumou orchestrated a $5.6 billion operation across 10 cities
- 93 people have been arrested as part of a nine-month series of police raids
A massive money laundering ring using cryptocurrencies has been busted in China. The ring, based in Hengyang, a city in the southern Chinese province Hunan, is the latest in a number of such operations and was brought down by local law enforcement. The group is suspected of laundering some 40 billion yuan ($5.5 billion) through digital assets since 2018, with telecom and gambling scams thought to be the source of the funds. Police targeted the gang last year, with several operations in over the past nine months bringing them closer to the hub of the network, which has now been smashed.
Operation Spread Across More than 10 Cities
Local news reported that Hunan police arrested the ringleader, Hong Moumou, and close accomplices in raids last week as part of the ‘Hundred-day Action’ against the gang, who had been laundering money taken through gambling and telecoms scams into U.S. dollars since 2018.
Police revealed that Moumou would collect the criminal funds from operations such as telecoms fraud and gambling into cryptocurrencies from the various physical locations and turn them into U.S. dollars for laundering, using illegal remittance methods through a number of domestic companies to split up the proceeds.
93 People Arrested
Raids in December last year and June this year blew the scale of the operation open, with police learning that 170 criminal organisations were involved across more than 10 cities, leading to 93 arrests, more than 100 electronic devices from members of the network being taken, and over $42 million frozen.
The busts allowed police to close in on Moumou, which culminated in his arrest and the destruction of the operation.