In brief

  • A Dutch couple have been convicted on money laundering charges.
  • Dutch authorities have seized Bitcoin worth approximately $33 million.
  • The news follows a pivot by several regulators to money laundering risks in the crypto industry.

Dutch police have reportedly seized over 2,500 Bitcoin worth approximately $33 million. The seizure follows the conviction of a Dutch couple by the Rotterdam District Court on money laundering charges. 

The Dutch couple had laundered nearly $19 million within the last two years, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service revealed.

According to a press release by OpenBaar Ministerie, the seizure of Bitcoin was not all that was taken from the couple. The Dutch authorities also confiscated cell phones, hard drives and other computer equipment, jewelry, and a vehicle. 

In addition, the couple also had a business, where €138,000 and €40,000 have been confiscated. Both relevant companies have been requested to pay a fine of €45,000 each. 

The couple were residents of Hilversum, in Holland. It is reported that both individuals bought Bitcoin and traded the cryptocurrency without notifying the tax authorities. In addition, the couple came into contact with customers through a dark web marketplace, where most of the Bitcoin was inevitably traded. 

Neither individual reportedly ever asked clients to show identification or carry out KYC, despite some deals being worth millions of euros. 

The individuals are facing two, and two and a half years in prison respectively, and both individuals will begin with a 6-month custodial period.

Authorities focus on crypto money laundering

Authorities are increasingly turning their attention to money laundering via cryptocurrency. In recent months, regulators in the UK and Switzerland have sought to tighten crypto regulations in order to curb money laundering, with exchanges such as Binance working with the authorities to track money launderers.

Meanwhile, a leaked FBI intelligence report has revealed how the agency tracks Bitcoin laundering on the dark web. For cryptocurrency firms, new AML rules are proving onerous—while a recent report has highlighted that the majority of money laundering is still carried out through traditional channels.