Brazilian authorities have seized $33m as part of a police operation targeting crypto money-laundering in the country.
As part of Operation Exchange, police have located a number of bogus companies established by criminals for the purposes of laundering money through crypto exchanges.
According to investigators, the suspects used the exchanges to launder their illegal proceedings before remitting them to offshore accounts.
Police offered some insight into the operation, citing specific numbers. On one occasion, a crypto exchange was able to launder $1.93m within five months, handling money from six shell companies. Another exchange was cited as having laundered $2.9m from eight fictitious companies.
Operation Exchange follows the success of another operation Brazil launched to curb the embezzlement of $300m that hit 7,000 investors. Operation Daemon led to the arrest of Cláudio Oliveira, the self-styled “Bitcoin King” of Brazil.
Oliveira is now charged with having defrauded thousands of investors by promising them significant profits if they invested in Bitcoin Banco Group, a company he headed.
Brazil worked for nearly three years on Daemon, but it has only just started work on Operation Exchange.