Brazilian civilian police seized 172 million reais (US $ 33 million) as part of a money laundering investigation conducted through crypto exchanges.
In an operation known as the “swap” that took place in Sao Paulo and Diadema, Brazilian police executed six search warrants, after which Brazilian justice authorized the freezing of accounts and the seizure. holdings of two people and 17 companies, according to a official statement who did not name them.
The investigation revealed that crypto exchanges have acquired and sold bitcoins to shell companies that were made to facilitate their creators’ access to the banking system.
Over a five-month period, one of the exchanges traded $ 1.93 million in digital assets with six fake companies, while eight other fake companies acquired $ 2.9 million in cryptocurrency over the course of the same period, police said.
The exchanges did not verify the legitimacy of the entities they were dealing with or the origin of the transactions, Brazilian police said, adding that the exchanges were knowingly operating on behalf of a criminal organization dedicated to money laundering through cryptocurrencies.
According to the investigation, money was sent to offshore companies and then repatriated by simulating sales or service transactions.
Preliminary investigations indicated that companies made large transactions with each other and then funneled money to middlemen, who were responsible for acquiring digital assets and delivering a hash code to their customers. .