The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) of the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that the world’s top-selling money laundering service on the Darknet had been shut down. In addition to extensive databases of around seven terabytes, Bitcoin with a volume equivalent to around 44 million euros was secured.
Commercial money laundering via a criminal trading platform
The investigators accuse the operators of “ChipMixer” of having laundered cyber currencies worth 2.8 billion euros since 2017. For this purpose, deposited crypto money was divided into small uniform amounts (“chips”) and mixed (“mixing”) with chips from other users before payment in order to disguise their origin. The cyber currencies came from criminal activities such as hacker attacks. There is also a suspicion that Internet currencies stolen in connection with the bankruptcy of the crypto exchange FTX 2022 were laundered via “ChipMixer”.
According to the BKA, this is the highest seizure of crypto assets by German investigators to date. The BKA worked closely with US authorities and Europol. The main suspect was put out by the US authorities for manhunt.
qu/uh (dpa, afp, rtr)