Hong Kong autoriteiten tough on $ 113m crypto tribute 

Hong Kong Customs officials have arrested four people allegedly involved in an illegal cryptocurrency-based money laundering syndicate as part of the first operation of its kind in the city. 

According to the South China Morning Post, the Union laundered a total of HK $ 1.2 billion ($155 million) over a 15-month period. Of this amount, HK $ 880 million ($113 million) was in cryptocurrency and 40 separate crypto wallets were used. 

Tether (USDT), a popular but controversial stable coin, played a key role in the settlement, and according to the report, more than 60% of the funds were diverted through accounts in the crypto-friendly island city-state Singapore. 

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Hong Kong investigators said they were seeking help from Singapore authorities to track down the eventual recipients of the funds. About HK $ 20 million was frozen in the bank accounts of the union leader and his shell companies.

Mark Wu Wai-Kwan, senior inspector at the Hong Kong customs union, said the operation, codenamed “Coin cracker,” involved “funds going through a large number of transactions.” This is a typical money laundering tactic to hide the source of the money.”

Regulators crack down on cryptocurrency laundering
The Hong Kong operation highlights the stricter measures taken by regional authorities.

Chinese police arrested more than 1,100 people suspected of using cryptocurrencies to launder proceeds of illegal fraud in May crackdowns, the Ministry of Public Security said.

And since November, nearly 100 people have pleaded guilty to using Tether to launder more than $ 30 million.

Hong Kong Customs will cooperate with other law enforcement agencies and regulators to combat more crime and maintain the city’s position as an international financial center, Wu added.

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