Home Business Europol seizes $46 million from cryptomixer

Europol seizes $46 million from cryptomixer

Europol seizes $46 million from cryptomixer

On March 15, Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, seized the assets of the cryptocurrency mixer ChipMixer over suspected involvement in money laundering.

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ZachXBT, a decentralized financial analyst, alleged on November 25, 2022 that the hacker(s) of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX laundered 360 BTC ($5.9 million) using ChipMixer after a $372 million breach. The total assets seized include 1,909.4 Bitcoin in 55 transactions, totaling 44.2 million euros ($46 million).

The ChipMixer website was also shut down after authorities seized 4 servers hosting the application. Europol claims the application has laundered more than €2.73 billion since its launch in 2017. Law enforcement officials reported the following:

Founded in mid-2017, ChipMixer was an unlicensed cryptocurrency mixer that specialized in mixing or hiding the transaction history of virtual currency assets. Using the ChipMixer software blocked the funds’ blockchain trail, making it attractive to cybercriminals looking to launder illicit proceeds from criminal activity.

Cooperation between various law enforcement agencies

Several law enforcement agencies cooperated in the investigation and enforcement, including the Belgian Federal Police, the German Federal Criminal Investigation Department, the Polish Central Office for Cybercrime, the Zurich Cantonal Police in Switzerland, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Justice.

Law enforcement officials have stated that the bulk of the activity was related to dark web markets, ransomware groups, illicit trafficking of goods, purchases of child sexual exploitation material, and stolen crypto assets. When money was deposited into ChipMixer, it was converted into “chips,” or small tokens of similar value, which were then mixed together to make the original cash flow anonymous.

Europol reportedly facilitated the exchange of information between national authorities for the operation. The entity concluded that it “also provided analytical support by linking available data to various criminal cases within and outside the EU, and supported the investigation through operational analysis, crypto-tracing and forensic analysis.”

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