With its transparent transactions stored into its blockchain, Bitcoin (BTC) is not anonymous, but a pseudonym. If you are linked to criminal activity, the authorities will therefore do everything possible to find out who is behind this pseudonym. This drug dealer just found out with his arrest.
Drug dealer turned launderer
The Spanish national police have just traced the trail of an important accomplice of the Cali cartel, based in Colombia. The latter, a Dutchman of Colombian origin, was arrested in Malaga, in southern Spain.
According to local newspaper La Razon, the operation was carried out in cooperation with Dutch police and Interpol services, after a lengthy investigation that began in 2018.
Police in the Netherlands, where the trafficker resided before moving to Spain, discovered that his criminal activities had recently changed. From a direct implication in the operations of drug trafficking of the Colombian cartel, the man had reconverted in the money laundering related to the trafficking of cocaine.
A cryptocurrency money laundering service
The cartel member had created a cryptocurrency exchange company in the Netherlands to cover his illicit activities.
He would thus have laundered up to 6 million euros via cryptocurrencies. During his arrest at his home, 85,000 euros in cash, 3 luxury watches and more than 15 credit cards were seized. Some of these cards would also be associated with cryptocurrency accounts.
In the Dutch offices of his shell company, hardware wallets and $ 170,000 in crypto-assets were also seized by the authorities.
With the exception of some anonymous cryptocurrencies, like Monero (XMR), most cryptos are based on transactions visible to everyone on their distributed ledger. Now that the police services know the crypto addresses of the trafficker converted into a launderer, all his exchanges will be able to be traced. Other heads of the drug cartel may well fall.