Chinese authorities have announced that more than 170 criminal gangs have been eliminated and over 1,100 suspects arrested in the latest round of crackdown on criminal groups providing cryptocurrency money laundering services for telecom fraudsters.
Crackdown on Telecom Fraud Using Cryptocurrency for Money Laundering
The Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China announced Wednesday that the fifth round of the “Broken Card” operation has been carried out.
This has “Severely cracked down on illegal and criminal groups that provide virtual currency money laundering services for telecom fraud,” the ministry detailed, adding:
More than 170 criminal gangs have been eliminated, more than 1,100 criminal suspects have been arrested.
The criminal gangs used cryptocurrencies to transfer the funds involved in the case, the announcement notes.
Police investigations have revealed that these criminal gangs usually work with “coin farmers” who help the fraudsters launder money. These coin farmers would register with various cryptocurrency trading platforms and buy and sell cryptocurrencies in accordance with the gangs’ specifications. The announcement describes:
After completing the money laundering process, ‘coin farmers’ can obtain ‘commissions’ ranging from 1.5% to 5%. The high illegal income attracts a large number of people to participate, causing serious social harm.
The announcement further notes: “Up to now, the ‘broken card’ operation has eliminated 15,000 illegal criminal gangs … arrested 311,000 suspects … and controlled 18,000 illegal industry outlets and institutions.”
The Broken Card operation was launched on Oct. 10 last year after the State Council, China’s cabinet, convened an inter-ministerial joint meeting to crack down on a new type of illegal telecom network fraud. The cards affected are primarily mobile phone cards and bank cards.