Europol seize €5.7m’s worth of crypto money from darknet traders
Austria and Spain conducted a joint special operation to detain the cybercriminals.
The European police successfully identified and neutralized the largest network of cyber-fraudsters and drug traffickers who had worked in the darknet. The criminals sold prohibited substances online and laundered the proceeds by buying crypto-currencies.
According to the Europol message, the group was created in 2012 and started trading in soft drugs, but gradually moved to sell potent substances. The clients got their offers by invitations from various Internet forums. The group imported raw materials to produce the drugs from Asian countries, mainly from China. The materials would come to Amsterdam first, and then to Spanish labs, from which the finished products were sent to about 100 countries around the world. The drugs were passed off as various goods allowed for sale and sent by mail in letters and parcels.
The first detentions took place last week when eight members of the gang were placed in custody. The citizens of Spain, Austria and France are accused of illicit drug trafficking, money laundering and membership in a criminal organization.
The police seized over €5.5 million’s worth of bitcoins, €137.000’s worth of IOTA and €30.000’s worth of lumen tokens. Besides, €1.6 million were attached in a bank account, and €700.000 were confiscated in cash.
The law enforcers shut down two drug labs, sealed 3 real estate items worth about €1 million, and seized 10 luxury cars. The largest LSD batch in Europe, 800.000 doses, has been seized as well.
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.