A big hit in the joint operation of Spanish and Dutch law enforcement agencies, which managed to arrest the number one drug dealer in Spain most wanted by Interpol suspected of money laundering, using also crypto.
Crypto laundering: what happened in Spain
We are talking about a Colombian drug dealer who represented the Cali cartel in Europe, who has been arrested and his assets confiscated.
The police raid led to the seizure of cars, luxury items, more than 15 credit cards, cash for 85 thousand euros and even cryptocurrencies for laundering money.
The amount in crypto amounted to 7 million dollars.
Using centralized services such as exchanges and traditional systems such as credit cards and bank accounts, all illicit transactions were tracked and this allowed investigators to verify how much money was moved and the destination addresses of these cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies are not completely anonymous
Although the blockchain is pseudo-anonymous, all it takes is an entry or exit point such as a bank account to narrow the circle and identify the individual behind an address, thus allowing funds to be blocked and traced.
Surely it is not a convenient system to use to launder money, seeing as with proper investigation it is possible to identify criminals sooner or later, especially for these types of very serious crimes where Interpol is involved.
It is worth noting that there are now several cases in which law enforcement agencies have managed to get their hands on the crypto accounts of criminals: only recently, for example, more than 2000 Bitcoin (BTC) have been seized, showing how very difficult it is to escape justice even with cryptocurrencies.
Moreover, more and more exchanges are adopting various anti-money laundering measures precisely to prevent criminals from using their platforms as a tool to clean up illicit proceeds. When such cases occur, funds are blocked and can no longer be moved.