Hundreds of Dutch police officers have raided fifteen locations around the Netherlands overnight for an alleged gang of dark web criminals using bitcoin to launder proceeds from the sale of illegal narcotics, according to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
A total of ten suspects were arrested, all men in their early twenties, one from Lithuania and some others of Moroccan origin, according to Dutch police. The gang is suspected of laundering fifteen to twenty million euros using bitcoin.
Customers of the arrested gang paid for their drugs with bitcoins. The bitcoins were then converted into euros and deposited into the bank account of one of the main suspects, which exposed the criminal organization to the police. “At the bank alarm bells went off because there are very large sums of money deposited in bank accounts, which were then withdrawn directly,” said Elena Muller of the Dutch police’s money laundering team, which worked on the case for two years.
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The investigators got suspicious when one of the main suspects, the man from Lithuania, hastily withdrew a sum of around one million euros.
Besides expensive cars, wads of cash and piles of drugs the police also seized the digital wallets of the gang, which they say are located in America and Australia. It is still unclear to the investigators how many bitcoins are in the wallets.