Brazilian Authorities Shutter International Cocaine Ring Financed Using Bitcoins
The Brazilian Police force has successfully arrested several members of an international drug syndicate using cryptocurrency to launder proceeds from their illicit deals.
End of the Road
According to local news Folha de S. Paulo, Brazil’s Federal Police have apprehended 12 people in connection with an international drug trafficking gang facilitating illegal cocaine deals worth millions of dollars.
Per Folha de S. Paulo, the drug cartel was crushed by the members of the police force carrying out the ‘’Antigoon operation” in conjunction with the nation’s Federal Revenue Service, in which approximately 100 policemen were deployed to various parts of the nation including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and others, to hunt down criminals.
The officers in charge of the matter revealed that they have been conducting investigations for almost a year now and about four tons of the banned substance have been recovered so far, from drug peddlers in the ports of Rio, Vitoria, Santos, Salvador, and Suape (PE).
The dealers usually purchase the cocaine from Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia and would use Brazil as a gateway to ship the drugs to the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Investigator Carlos Eduardo Thome added:
“It was a lot of money, and the gang used bitcoins and cybernetics to fool and flee from the control bodies. The gang received part of the payment in virtual currencies to make it difficult to track, and for the massive and atypical movement of money not to be detected.”
Though the investigators failed to mention the exact amount of money the criminals laundered via digital currency, they, however, disclosed that a vast array of the accused persons were international businessmen, port terminal employees, dispatchers and truck drivers.
Bitcoin not an Excellent Laundering Tool
The authorities have made it clear that the joint operation will continue to point its searchlight to find out more details about the drug cartels.
In recent times, law enforcement agents have been working tirelessly round the clock, hammering down bad actors trying to use bitcoin and other blockchain-based currencies to cover their dirty tracks.
Back in April 2018, BTCManager reported Europol had busted a drug cartel that tried to launder 8 million euros with bitcoin and on July 4, 2018 reports emerged that European authorities had raided an illegal drug organization, seizing cryptocurrencies such as IOTA, Stellar, and bitcoin.
In a bid to entirely eradicate the abuse of bitcoin and the altcoins, Europol organized a workshop in conjunction with cryptocurrency exchanges to formulate ways to sanitize the cryptocurrency space and make it almost impossible for criminals to use cryptos in facilitating their unlawful acts.