$124 Million Money Laundering Scam Busted In China

Police in China’s Zunyi City have busted a group that was using cryptocurrencies to launder large amounts of stolen money. The crime involved 800 million Yuan ($124 million), as reported by local media. 

The authorities in the Southwest region have been on the case for around 2 months, following a directive from the State Council, China’s minister cabinet. This is according to a report from a local news site

The police have arrested 100 suspects involved with the scam and have solved 332 cases of telecom fraud nationwide. 

This scam comes shortly after China put a complete ban on cryptocurrency transactions. The ban took effect on Sept 24 and has been the cause of a volatile market and a world-wide discussion over the regulation of crypto ever-since. 

Those accused of the fraud pretended to be recruiting for a personnel company. They had opened accounts on a number of crypto exchanges including Binance, Huobi and OKEx. The accounts were opened using information that was collected from their false recruitment. 

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The group “peddled” crypto by buying low and selling high and laundered the stolen funds through telecom fraud, as well as other criminal acts. 

The criminals were able to hide their crimes for some time by using around 500 bank cards and only transacting in small amounts. 

As of today, China’s messaging app WeChat seems to be blocking all searches for ‘Binance’ and ‘Huobi’. This joins an earlier round of censoring on search engines Baidu and Weibo (a platform similar to Twitter). 

The city of Zunyi is a city with a population of 6 million people. It is known for its Communist Party history. It was at a meeting in Zunyi that Mao Zedong rose to the leadership of the leading party. 

Further information around the money laundering scam is yet to be revealed.