Dutch authorities arrest two people amid crypto money-laundering investigation
February 23, 2020, 10:24AM EST
2 min read
Last week, officials at the Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) announced the arrest of two men believed to be using cryptocurrencies to launder money.
One of the men, according to a statement published by the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5)– an operational group formed between Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S. – had used the now-defunct bitcoin transaction mixer Bestmixer.io.
"Based on the Bitcoin address used, the investigative team was able to identify the IP-address," the statement explained. "The Bestmixer service was likely used to conceal and launder income. As part of this law enforcement action, digital and physical business accounts were seized."
Bestmixer.io's website was seized in May 2019 by Dutch authorities, who indicated the time that they would use the information gleaned from that investigation to pursue more money laundering cases. The announcement directly outlines how that information has been – and likely will continue to be – put to work in future investigations.
"In November 2019, the J5 countries organized a 'crypto challenge' in Los Angeles, California," the group said. "During the challenge, the FIOD shared data which had been seized on May 22, 2019 during the investigation of the crypto service provider Bestmixer.io. Based on this data, it cannot be ruled out that more international investigations by the J5 countries will follow."
The J5 statement also outlined the arrest of another individual who is believed to have laundered "approximately 2.1 million euros."
"The suspect made large purchases with a crypto credit card that could not be explained to the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration based on his income and assets. He also made several large withdrawals with this card including 10,000 euros in cash," the statement explained. "Several items were seized including three kilograms of gold, 260,000 euros in cryptocurrencies, debit and credit cards with both cryptocurrencies and euros, a car and luxury items such as watches and other jewellery."