Europe’s LSD Bust Involves $5M in Cryptocurrencies
It seems like the connection between digital currencies an illegal activity has recently been empowered. Europol with the help of Spanish Guardia Civil and the Austrian Federal Police were able to bust the biggest ever LSD racket in Europe.
As per the press release, the investigation was conducted in Spanish cities of Valencia and Granada where regulators confiscated a total amount of 4.5 million Euros or $5.25 million worth of IOTA, lumens, and bitcoin. Officials noted that the trade was taking place with the help of the dark web.
The information reads, “The organized crime group offered the synthetic drugs exclusively through Darknet webpages where access was restricted to previously invited users redirected from forums. Two of the web pages managed by the organization enjoyed a great reputation, being the most known and exclusive worldwide in this field.”
As of now, the measures taken by the authorities for the drug bust are still unclear, yet we do know about the amount and diversity of products involved. With the above-stated amount of virtual currencies, the police found more than 8 million Euros or $9.35 million in fiat, three real estate properties with ten luxury vehicles. It was also reported that suspects mailed their drugs across the globe using the deep web.
The press release adds, “Packages and postal envelopes were sent to more than 100 different countries containing narcotic substances camouflaged as other legal products, such as additives for cement.”
However, the exact date of the event has not been revealed. One should know that US authorities have launched a prominent operation against dark web where officials will be posing as money launderers.
Over 35 individuals have been caught by federal U.S. authorities as suspects of being dark net vendors. The yearlong investigation was possible due to the efforts of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) plus few other smaller agencies.
The decision has come after it was discovered that the alleged criminal group was also conducting money laundering by some share of the profits gained from selling virtual coins especially BTC.
According to DOJ’s statement, the actions are part of a nationwide investigation which means that it has no connection with the recent drugs found in Europe. That being said, the events do enlighten the fact the dark web and digital coins are tools of mass corruption. The anonymity factor in both the sectors has helped people to conduct illegal trade without the risk of getting caught.
Digital currencies have always been a subject of skepticism not just because of its high volatility but also for its use in criminal activities. Reports have suggested that many smaller coins are being used for unauthorized deals to maintain a low profile.
It is hoped that regulators come up with policies that will minimize such activities and damage the unlawful system to its core. As far as a complete ban goes, it is a distinct possibility as the crypto space has become a relatively colossal economy which is growing with each passing second.