1,100 people arrested in China over alleged crypto fraud

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Chinese police busted a network of more than 170 criminal groups as they arrested 1,100 suspects involved in money laundering by buying cryptocurrencies, security officials said in a statement.

The charged individuals are accused of converting illegal proceeds into cryptocurrencies via crypto exchanges, the Ministry of Public Security said, without revealing the amount of money involved.

Illegal proceeds from telephone and Internet scams

As of Wednesday, the police had busted more than 170 criminal groups believed to have used cryptocurrencies to launder illegal proceeds from telephone and Internet scams.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, criminal groups organized personnel to register on various cryptocurrency trading platforms with personal bank cards and information, then purchase and exchange crypto in accordance with their requirements to become “coin farmers” who help them launder money.

The money launderers charged their criminal clients commissions ranging from 1.5% to 5% to convert illegal proceeds into cryptocurrencies via crypto exchanges.

The high illegal income attracted a large number of people to participate and provide services to fraud gangs, helping them transfer and launder money by purchasing and exchanging cryptocurrencies.

The security officials used this as an opportunity to warn the general public that the number of crimes involving the use of cryptocurrencies is on the rise and to increase their awareness of the rule of law and prevention in order to avoid becoming accomplices to fraudsters.

The pressure on crypto keeps intensifying

Meanwhile, the country’s biggest crypto exchanges, Huobi, OKEx, and Binance were blocked from the most popular Chinese internet search engines and social media platforms

Since May this year, Chinese banks and payment firms have been prohibited from providing crypto-related services. 

Even though the government has already banned trading in crypto and keeps actively tightening its restrictions, people are still able to trade in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) online.

As China keeps intensifying its pressure on crypto, the government is finalizing its central bank digital currency (CBDC) projects, leaving less and less room for competition.  

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