Dutch man suspected of laundering ‘tens of millions’ worth of bitcoin

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A 39-year-old unidentified Dutch man was arrested near Amsterdam last week for allegedly laundering ‘tens of millions’ of euros worth of cryptocurrency.

Authorities say the man was in possession of stolen bitcoin from a ‘rogue software update’ of crypto wallet service Electrum, which is how they tracked down the suspect. He allegedly turned the bitcoin into privacy coin monero via decentralized exchange Bisq to cover his tracks.

“The funds were stolen after phishing with malicious Electrum software pushed through malicious servers,” the Dutch police told BleepingComputer. No further details were given regarding the software.

Dutch police searched his home upon his arrest and seized several hard drives and the cryptocurrency. The investigation is ongoing and the man remains a suspect, despite his release on Thursday.

Cryptocurrency, like ordinary money, is vulnerable to all kinds of crime,” Dutch police said. “The anonymous and cross-border nature of cryptocurrency affords opportunities for criminals.”

Read more: Dutch police seized $10M in crypto in 2020 — 650% more than 2019

The Netherlands has faced a wave of cryptocurrency-related crime in recent years. In 2020, Dutch police seized $10 million in cryptocurrency — 650% more than the previous year.

High-profile crime cases include a ransom hack on Maastricht University in 2019, which wiped out its computer systems. The university decided to shell out the 30 BTC the hackers demanded. In July this year, Dutch police retrieved the bitcoin.

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