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Russian police take bite out of bitcoin laundering racket linked to drug sales

December 07, 12:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Buyers transferred money to electronic wallets that were changed all the time, and then the funds were converted into cryptocurrency

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© Sergei Konkov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Police have unraveled a bitcoin-based money-laundering scheme developed by drug dealers in the Kirov Region, Russian Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Irina Volk said.

"Members of an organized gang distributed narcotics substances in a non-contact way. Buyers transferred money to electronic wallets that were changed all the time, and then the funds were converted into cryptocurrency (bitcoins)," Volk reported.

After that, the bitcoins were transferred through electronic trading systems to the accounts of the criminal gang members, whereupon the cryptocurrency was changed back to rubles and spent.

Based on this fact, a criminal case was launched under Part 1 Article 174.1 of the Russian Criminal Code ("Laundering money gained by an individual through committing crime").

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