May 262016
 

Spanish police said on Wednesday (25th May 2016) they had arrested 30 people suspected of illegally distributing pay television content (via card sharing) and of laundering the proceeds by investing in bitcoin “mining” centers for processing transactions in the digital currency, which use intensive computing power to generate more bitcoins.

The arrests took place across Spain, including in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Cordoba, police said in a statement.

Six bitcoin “mining” centers were seized in the raid, they added, after an investigation alongside Spain’s tax office that started as a crackdown on a scheme to illegally decode and distribute pay-TV content.

The proceeds were allegedly laundered through investments in banking products, luxury cars, property as well as Bitcoin centers.

Police said the bitcoin “mining” operations had also been fraudulently using vast amounts of electricity to keep their computing systems running.

They did not say how much money had been laundered through the bitcoin mining operation but added they had for now seized 31,320 euros ($34,903) worth of the currency as well as cash, motorbikes and luxury cars and a small aircraft.

source: reuters.com/article/us-spain-bitcoin-arrests-idUSKCN0YG1YQ?il=0

  One Response to “30 arrested in Spain suspected of laundering money in bitcoin centers and providing card sharing”

  1. More information on this story:

    A joint investigation by the Spanish National Police and Tax Authorities, with the support of the German local police Hanau, Europol and Eurojust, has resulted in the dismantling of a criminal network specialised in the illegal distribution of pay-TV channels in Spain.

    The illicit distribution was done through pirated decoders (cardsharing) and the Internet.

    In total, 30 suspects have been arrested in Spain, and 48 800 decoders seized, alongside EUR 183 200 in cash, 10 luxury vehicles, 1 counterfeit luxury car, a private plane, several financial documents and IT equipment.

    Operation FAKE began when a Spanish legitimate provider of decoders filed a complaint against another company for counterfeiting and selling their decoders.

    The investigations revealed the existence of a sophisticated network of companies, including shell companies, through which an organised crime network illegally distributed pay-TV content. The arrestees imported decoders from China, designed the firmware used to decrypt the TV signals and distributed it to the final customers the internet

    During a joint action day on 18 May 2016, 38 house searches were carried out simultaneously in 7 cities in Spain.

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