More than €1m in cryptocurrency seized in major money laundering probe

5 views 11:09 am 0 Comments November 21, 2023
NINE men have been arrested, and more than €1 million in cryptocurrency seized as part of a significant Garda investigation targeting national and international money laundering and smishing offenses.

Gardaí, attached to the Waterford Division crime hub, has been conducting a complex criminal investigation focusing on organized transnational illegal activity involving the bulk transmission of smishing texts (fraudulent SMS/WhatsApp messages), theft, deception, and money laundering.

“The criminal activity focuses on the criminal offense of smishing involving fraudulent SMS and WhatsApp messages claiming to be from national postal offices, delivery companies, financial institutions, etc.,” said a Garda spokesperson who added a significant quantity of property and cash has also been seized.

This includes €1.12 million in cryptocurrency, €30,000 in other monies that have been frozen, two vehicles (a VW Golf and a Mercedes), and a property identified in Dubai.

The Waterford Crime Office is coordinating the investigation with the assistance of GNECB (Virtual Assets Investigation Unit and FIU Ireland), GNCCB, Europol, Garda Passenger Information Unit (GPIU), and personnel from other Garda divisions across the country. 

Europol and garda liaisons in Irish embassies are facilitating the investigation team in liaison with other police forces to progress this investigation internationally.

“The investigation to date has established that the criminal activity is operating in several countries in Europe, the UK, Dubai, and South Africa,” said a spokesperson.

Investigations are ongoing, and gardai say two males are currently before the courts charged with various alleged offenses contrary to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, Part 7 of Criminal Justice Act 2006, and the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001.


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