Saim Allem and Abderrahman Cheikh have been sentenced to three and two years respectively for “participating in a terrorist criminal association” and for financing terrorism.
French authorities ruled in the case of the two men who supported extremists in Syria by sending $280,000 worth of cryptocurrency to back Islamist State.
The men’s arrest came in September 2020 and was led by the country’s anti-terrorist prosecutor’s office, Parque national antiteroriste (Pnat).
They were two of 29 others who were arrested for sending money to Islamist extremists in Syria. The news was reported by French newspaper Le Figaro.
The men did so between 2018 and 2020, backing different jihadists they thought could use the money.
According to blockchain intelligence company Chainalysis, the funding of terrorism in Syria, and elsewhere, using Bitcoin continues. The company put out a report in 2020, explaining how it still works today.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency has become more omnipresent around the world, prompting governments to act even against some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights.
The Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial watchdog, recently acted against Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange for lax anti-money laundering practices. Now, the regulator is also acting against FTX, another heavyweight in the industry.
All of this indicates that national governments and regulators are firmly regulating the cryptocurrency space with the opportunities for conducting illegal business through crypto continuing to diminish over the long-term.
On the plus side, the 29 back in 2020 were the only big cases of people apprehended over funding terrorists through crypto in France.