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Cryptocurrencies are increasingly used for money laundering

So says one of the agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

30.Nov.17 1:40 PM
By Daria Zaytseva


Cryptocurrencies are increasingly used for money laundering

According to him, criminal organizations are increasingly using digital currency for money laundering or other payment for illegal activities.

Child exploiters, drug smugglers, illegal firearm sellers and violators of intellectual property rights are all starting to use cryptocurrencies for their operations, said Matthew Allen, the ICE's special agent responsible for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Allen gave evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee on modernization anti-money laundering laws to limit both money laundering and the financing of terrorism on November 28, explaining that virtual currencies are the new most basic method for hiding criminal proceeds.

Some exchanges are starting to develop services specifically designed to prevent tracking using mixers that anonymize virtual currency addresses, which makes it even more difficult to determine which user conducted a particular transaction, Allen said.

However, the department has had some success in identifying criminals who use bitcoin. Allen pointed to the November arrest of a Utah resident Aaron Shamo in 2016, who allegedly led a group of Xanax and fentanyl producers. Shamo allegedly took his profits in bitcoin, and HSI withdrew from him at that time about $2.5 million.

Another alleged fentanyl producer, Pennsylvanian Henry Koffie, was arrested in July of this year and had $154,000 seized.

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