Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department (HKCED) recently launched operation ‘Coin Breaker’, successfully busting a suspected syndicate involving ML of $1.2 billion and arresting four persons. This is the first case in which the HKCED has identified ML involving virtual currency usage by an ML syndicate.
Earlier this year, the HKCED identified a suspected ML syndicate. On July 8, over 30 customs officers raided four residential premises and an office in Hong Kong. They arrested four suspects under the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO).
The detainees had opened accounts at various banks in Hong Kong and used them to make virtual currency transactions through a trading platform between February 2020 and May 2021. Such suspicious transactions, including bank remittances and virtual currency, amounted to over $1.2 billion.