According to the Bloomberg report, China arrested over 1,100 people in a sweeping crackdown on the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering, adding to signs it’s further reining in crypto-linked activities. Chinese police busted more than 170 criminal groups that used cryptocurrencies to launder money in telecom scams to avoid being tracked down, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement. The campaign spanned 23 provinces and cities, it added.
Chinese authorities crack down on crypto.
The criminal groups arrested needed to hire people to help with the laundering process because the bank accounts they used for such scams were already seized. Those hired would register their bank accounts on virtual currency platforms and use the money received from the criminal groups to trade virtual currencies before transferring those assets to the groups’ designated digital wallets. According to the ministry, the hired people were offered 1.5% to 5% commissions, which had lured many people into being accomplices in scams that caused “serious social harm,” according to the ministry.
China escalates its crypto crackdown.
China has recently escalated its crypto crackdown after a surge in Bitcoin and other tokens at the beginning of 2021 heightened longstanding government concerns about the potential for fraud, money laundering, and trading losses by individual investors. Regulators have so far stopped short of labeling individual trading illegal, but the public security department will be involved in the crackdown, a person familiar with the matter had told Bloomberg last month. As reported earlier, searches for crypto exchanges on China’s major website Weibo and Baidu, are currently being censored. Keyword searches for popular crypto exchanges like Binance, OKEx, and Huobi on Internet services such as Baidu, Sogou, Zhihu, and Weibo yielded no results.