Chinese police said they have busted a criminal group that used cryptocurrencies to launder 40 billion yuan (US$5.6 billion) as authorities crack down on illicit fund flows in the country.

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Fast facts

  • Police in Hengyang, a county in China’s southern province of Hunan, said on Monday that authorities have arrested 93 suspects across the country, busted over 10 physical sites, confiscated over 100 electronic devices and froze about 300 million yuan involved in the case, in a law enforcement campaign dubbed “Hundred-day Action.”
  • The criminal group allegedly bought cryptocurrencies with illicit funds, then traded the crypto for U.S. dollars to launder their profits, the police said.
  • The dirty money allegedly came from telecom scams or gambling, according to the police.
  • China banned cryptocurrency trading in September 2021 to crack down on what it calls a sector that has disrupted economic and financial order.
  • Despite the ban, China still claimed the 10th spot on Chainalysis’ 2022 list of top crypto adoption countries published earlier this month.

See related article: Crypto-related crimes in China still high despite ban on transactions