Global law enforcement agencies continue their crackdown against malicious crypto firms.
The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has seized over $46 million (or around 44 million euros) from cryptocurrency mixer ChipMixer.
According to the announcement shared on March 15th, the authorities “took down the infrastructure of the platform” for its involvement in money laundering affairs. Europol believes ChipMixer was used to hide the trails of illegal proceeds earned through ransomware attacks, weapons trafficking, payment card fraud, and drug trafficking.
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As a result of the investigation, Europol reportedly seized four servers, seven terabytes of data, and 1,909.4 Bitcoin (BTC).
It is worth noting that for this operation, Europol worked hand in hand with German, Belgian, Polish, Swish, and United States authorities.
In the announcement, Europol highlighted that “the platform may have facilitated the laundering of 152,000 Bitcoins (worth roughly EUR 2.73 billion in current estimations).” On top of that, the European Union agency noted:
A large share of this is connected to darkweb markets, ransomware groups, illicit goods trafficking, procurement of child sexual exploitation material, and stolen crypto assets.
Moreover, Europol has reason to believe that ransomware actors, like Zeppelin, SunCrypt, Dharma, Mamba, or Lockbit, used ChipMixer for money laundering purposes. On top of that, Europol and other authorities are reportedly looking into whether ChipMixer was used to hide the traces of “the crypto assets stolen after the bankruptcy of a large crypto exchange in 2022.”
It can be assumed that Europol refers to the disappearance of funds from the crypto exchange FTX after it filed for bankruptcy.
It is not the first time Europol is taking action against malicious crypto-related firms. At the end of January, Europol seized over $19 million (€ 18 million) worth of crypto from wallets tied to crypto exchange Bitzlato and “took down the service’s digital infrastructure in France.”