$ 33 million seized in Brazilian crypto money laundering investigation

An investigation into a suspected money laundering operation resulted in the confiscation of 172 million Brazilian reals (R $) (or 33 million US dollars) by the civilian police.

According to an official statement, Brazilian authorities executed a total of six search warrants on July 22. They carried out surveys in Diadema and São Paulo. As a result, the courts authorized the police to seize the assets of two people, plus a total of 17 companies. The Brazilian court has since ordered the freezing of the accounts of the two defendants.

Investigations have since shown that the defendants have created a number of shell companies to gain access to the banking system. Crypto exchanges have sold large amounts of bitcoin (BTC) to these companies. Specifically, in the space of five months, an exchange traded R $ 10million (roughly $ 1.92million) of BTC to six of these bogus companies. Meanwhile, eight other shell companies made 15 million reais (about $ 2.88 million) from BTC during the same period.

The investigation concluded that the accused had sent the money to companies located abroad. These offshore companies then repatriated the funds in the form of sales and services.

According to the police statement, the stock exchanges have not carried out verification measures as to the legitimacy of their clients. They also did not look at the origin of their customers’ transactions. In addition, the statement alluded to the almost exclusive links of these exchanges with criminal organizations, shell companies and the black market.

The Brazilian stock exchange adopts Ether

Brazil has also been the site of recent and more legitimate crypto transactions. Namely, more recently, an Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF), which has been given the green light to be listed on the B3, the country’s second oldest exchange. According to reports, this development makes B3 the first exchange in Latin America to have a 100% ETH ETF. Reports also indicate that the Winklevoss Gemini brothers exchange will provide custody services for the fund.

QR Capital, a Rio de Janeiro-based crypto investment firm, will list the fund under the ticker QETH11. Brazil’s securities regulator, Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM), previously gave the green light to an ETF for BTC in March. It was the first ETF of its kind listed in South America, according to reports.


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