The Dutch Public Prosecutor’s office accused an unnamed British national of laundering EUR 11.5 million through Bitcoin and demanded five years in prison for him, reports NLTimes.
According to the prosecution, the man residing in Amsterdam has laundered the money, most likely proceeds from criminal activities on the dark web, between 2014 and 2016. The scheme was fairly simple: the man was taking the bitcoins from his clients and was trading them for fiat currencies on cryptocurrency exchanges. Then he transferred the money to his own bank account and withdrew the cash from ATMs. He gave the money to his clients, charging them an “unusually high” commission of 5-8%. “Millions of euros were exchanged in this way,“ the Prosecutor said. At the same time, the suspect and his spouse earn very little in legal income.
Not only this, but the man is also suspected of cannabis cultivation. The police has found numerous photos of cannabis plants in his previous home.
Despite the Netherlands being known for its liberal approach to soft drugs like marijuana, growing it is currently illegal, even though the government has plans of licensing the cultivation.
According to the prosecution, the man started his criminal career with growing cannabis and selling it on the dark web for bitcoins. Soon he realized he does not need marijuana to make a nice profit and changed his business model.
The man insists his clients were not criminals and denies the charges. The court will hear the case next month.