Brazil Police Bust Gang Using Bitcoin To Launder Money Made From Illegal Gold Mining

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Brazil’s anti-corruption agency has broken up a group accused of utilizing cryptocurrency to hide the proceeds of illicit gold mining.

According to Reuters, On Thursday, the Federal Police of Brazil carried out an operation against an accused criminal organization that they claimed laundered money obtained from illicit gold mining using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency tokens. During the course of the operation, police made five arrests and carried out sixty search and seizure orders.

According to the federal police, the operation, which was given the code name “Greed,” included health care businesses that, since at least the year 2012, had been laundering money obtained from the unlicensed mining of gold in the northern state of Rondonia. 

According to the authorities, the criminal organization laundered money using a variety of means, including the use of its own proprietary crypto coin to move around billions of dollars.

It was stated that the token, which was developed by one of the organization’s front companies and used to justify the amounts that resulted from the illegal extraction of gold, was used to make the amounts appear as if they were the investments of third parties who were interested in receiving dividends.

According to a financial investigation carried out by the federal police, between 2019 and 2021, more than 16 billion reais, equivalent to $3 billion, passed through the group’s bank accounts.

In addition, according to the police, the organization was the owner of a mining firm that was responsible for the laundering of gold that was obtained from other illicit mines located in the northern region of the nation while using environmental licenses that were illegitimate.

As a result, the Federal District Public Prosecution in Brazil’s center-west area has established its own cryptocurrency investigative section. They want to help other prosecutors with cryptocurrency investigations and educate consumers on how to use cryptocurrencies safely and responsibly.

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