Chinese Gang Arrested for Laundering $1.7 Billion in Crypto

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  • A Chinese gang has been arrested for laundering $1.7 billion through cryptocurrencies
  • The 63-strong gang used various scams to collect the money and enticed unconnected individuals to help launder the funds
  • The coordinated arrests were announced over the weekend

A Chinese gang which laundered some $1.7 billion in crypto has been arrested. The 63-strong gang have been accused of gathering the funds through various scams and then laundering the money through cryptocurrencies, with the operation dating back to May 2021. Given China’s crackdown on all crypto activity, legal and illegal, in recent years, it’s actually impressive that a crime of this magnitude could have gone unnoticed for so long.

USDT Used to Launder Proceeds

The news was revealed by the Public Security Bureau of Inner Mongolia’s Tongliao city in northern China over the weekend, which said that the 63 people laundered as much as 12 billion Chinese yuan in the scam which began last year.

The proceeds of the scams, which included pyramid schemes, fraud and gambling operations, were converted first into the USDT and then across various different cryptocurrency trading accounts to convert the money back into Chinese yuan.

$18.7 Million Seized

The gang used the messaging service Telegram, which is blocked in China, to conduct their activities and recruit various people around the country to open cryptocurrency exchange accounts to help launder the funds. Those people would receive a commission according to how much money they laundered, police added. The Public Security Bureau was alerted when it noticed that one of the suspects had an overly large monthly transaction volume of 10 million yuan in his bank account.

More than 130 million Chinese yuan ($18.7 million) worth of proceeds was confiscated from the gang upon the coordinated arrests, with two of the suspects fleeing to Bangkok, Thailand, although police said they have been persuaded to return to China.