Dutch Police Arrest Man for Laundering Millions Using Crypto

The Dutch police have released a statement saying that the department recently arrested a 39-year-old man from Veenendaal, a town in the central Netherlands, on suspicion of laundering criminal money via cryptocurrencies worth tens of millions of euros.

In the statement, the police clarified that it tracked down the accused after stolen bitcoins (BTC) from a rogue software update of the Electrum wallet, one of the popular Bitcoin wallets, ended up with him.

The criminal investigation is being conducted by the cyber crime team of the Central Netherlands police, in collaboration with the cyber crime team of the East Netherlands police.

During further investigation, the police found that the man converted Bitcoin to the privacy coin Monero and vice versa. Monero is a decentralized cryptocurrency. It uses a public distributed ledger with privacy-enhancing technologies that obfuscate transactions to achieve anonymity and fungibility.

The use of Monero made the stolen crypto more difficult to track, according to the Dutch police. The police have also assessed that the accused might be using Bisq, a decentralized Bitcoin exchange network, to launder the money.

Police Seized Various Data Carriers from Home of the Accused

The police revealed that during the arrest, they searched the home of the accused and seized various data carriers.

“The police investigation continues, including into the digital means of payment that the man possesses and the data carriers,” the statement said. “The expected profit that the man would have made in the money laundering, the police were able to confiscate in the form of cryptocurrencies.”

However, the accused was sent home soon after arrest but still remains a suspect.

In a recent money laundering case, the Netherlands also extradited a Russian man to the U.S. for alleged crypto money laundering, uncovering an international money laundering conspiracy.

The Netherlands Has Been Actively Regulating Crypto

In May 2020, the Netherlands introduced the Dutch Implementation Act as a European directive to stringent Anti-Money Laundering rules, with the Dutch Central Bank being the prime regulatory entity for cryptocurrencies. The country has been actively regulating platforms for exchanging cryptocurrencies into fiat money, and crypto custodian wallet providers became regulated in the Netherlands.

On the Flipside

The Netherlands is considered a largely friendly crypto location mainly because there are no capital gains taxes.

Why You Should Care

The Netherlands has been enforcing a regulatory stance on crypto. Crypto-related activities in the Netherlands have come under increased surveillance mainly due to compliance issues.

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