New South Wales police have arrested an Australian citizen on suspicion of illegally exchanging $3 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
According to 9News Australia, detectives from the new South Wales (NSW) cybercrime unit have arrested and charged a woman, whose name has not been revealed, after searching her car near a shopping centre in Sydney. During the search, law enforcement officers found $38,736 in cash and 3.8 BTC on a hardware wallet.
The head of the cybercrime division, Matt Craft, said that this is the first arrest made by his division against “non-compliant service providers for digital currencies” in the state and possibly the first of its kind in Australia.
“This will be the first of many arrests that I believe we will make in the coming years,” Kraft said.
The arrest followed a series of investigations by the special cybercrime task force, set up in late 2018 to investigate money laundering operations on the Internet. It is assumed that the arrested woman is a member of a syndicate that launders illegally obtained income through cryptocurrencies.
Law enforcement agencies seized cryptocurrency wallets with BTC, the value of which is equivalent to $11,749, as well as data storage devices, computers and mobile phones during a search of homes in Hertsville and Sydney, immediately after the arrest of the woman.
The investigation was conducted in collaboration with the Australian financial transaction accounting and analysis centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian crime Commission (ACIC). The woman was charged with three counts, including intentionally concealing criminal proceeds and violating requirements for digital currency exchange services. Police said that since 2017, the accused has made transactions with BTC worth more than $3 million.
Recall that at the end of last year, the Australian authorities received
twenty-fold profit from BTC withdrawn as a result of illegal firearms sales using cryptocurrencies.