The fiscal investigation service of the Netherlands (FIOD) closed the largest website Bestmixer.io, accusing him of “laundering cryptocurrency for a few million euros.”
A joint operation was developed FIOD, Europol and services of Luxembourg from June 2018 after the company security the Internet McAfee said services Bestmixer. As a result, police seized six servers in Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Bestmixer is considered one of the three largest sites offering mixing for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC). Service CryptoMemory, allow users to increase the anonymity, making it difficult to track the original source of funds. According to reports, Bestmixer turnover of not less than $200 million since its inception in may 2018.
The authorities considered that Bestmixer.io “was likely used to hide or launder criminal money flows” after the investigation found that “many of the mixed cryptocurrency had a criminal origin or purpose.”
Advertising illegal activities
John Fokker, head of cyber investigations, McAfee Advanced Threat Research, said in his blog that Bestmixer very clearly described the current policy for combating money laundering and how it can help to avoid it by making the funds of clients are anonymous and not available for tracking. The offer of such services is illegal in many countries.
In addition, Bestmixer not only openly touting their services for money laundering, but also “falsely claimed that is registered in Curacao.
Services mixing cryptocurrencies are legal in the Netherlands but, as noted by Fokker, “the law is cancelled when the service mix advertises itself as a successful tool to avoid checks against money laundering through anonymity. It is an active offer of services in money laundering”.
“Mixing Bitcoins, legally obtained, is not a crime, and also mathematical exercises, there’s no real benefit”, he added.
According to local media, in Bestmixer no one has been arrested. While Europol and Dutch FIOD will analyze all the information collected about the activities Bestmixer last year, including IP address, transaction details, addresses, Bitcoins, and chat messages.
Today’s capture Bestmixer evidence of increased law enforcement activities in relation to the anonymity of cryptolog. This follows the European rules AMLD5 and opinions expressed by the American FinCEN that such cryptoservice are considered to be firms for the provision of cash services and must comply with these rules. This is the first closure of the site to provide services to mix Bitcoins, which shows that not only the dark markets may be subject to criminal prosecution, but also other sites.
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