Six People in Dutch Court Charged with “Bitcoin Drug Money Laundering”

The prosecutor asked the court for jail time ranging between 6 to 36 months.

In Netherlands, six people are accused of money laundering charges using Bitcoin worth hundreds of thousands of euros, obtained by selling illicit drugs.

On the first court appearance on 25th October, the prosecutor requested sentences ranging from 6 to 36 months of jail time.

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The prosecution said that in 2015, as a part of an international probe, the defendants are accused “of money laundering, having hard drugs and preparing for the export, production, and trade of hard drugs.”

The accused were allegedly meeting with local Bitcoin traders in places with public WiFi access. They would then swap their ill-gotten digital currency obtained from the dark-web for hard cash.

The prosecution also added that “[as] opposed to normal currency exchange shops”, these Bitcoin traders did not ask for any proof of identification nor did they inquire about the source of the digital money.

But in front of the court, all of the six accused denied all the claims against them.

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The defense lawyer, Marielle van Essen, stated: “My client is accused of having sold more than 460,000 euros in bitcoins which he supposedly earned through drug trafficking. We complete refute it.”

Mr. Bishop, one of the accused, said in his testimony: “I had a job, a good salary and no rent to pay. I acquired bitcoins in a completely legal way.”

Mr. Bishop already spent seven months in detention after his arrest in August 2015 at his apartment in the central Dutch city of Almere. During the arrest, the local police found drugs in his possession.

The prosecutor added that the defense “was unable to explain the origins of the astronomical sum of money” acquired by the accused and also stressed the heinous nature of crimes like money laundering, saying that it is “a serious threat to our society.”

The prosecution recemmended a sentence of 21 months for another defendant, identified as Joey M. He is accused of laundering 322,000 euros, earned by selling drugs at a local gym.

Because of the anonymous nature of the digital currencies, a lot of scam stars are using it in illegal activities.

Recently one of the security company stated: “Demands for at least $25 million are likely to increase because technological changes in virtual currencies are making it easier for criminals to move sums anonymously.”

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