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Hong Kong arrests 2 siblings for allegedly laundering nearly $50 million via crypto exchange and banks

Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • Hong Kong authorities arrested two siblings for allegedly laundering nearly $50 million through various platforms.
  • Investigations revealed that the duo opened personal accounts between May and November 2020.
  • Both have been released on bail pending further investigation.
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Hong Kong authorities on Tuesday arrested two siblings on the suspicion of laundering nearly $50 million through various platforms, including a cryptocurrency exchange and several banks. 

Customs officers arrested a 28-year old woman and her 21-year-old brother in their home in Yau Tong, a residential district in Hong Kong, for “dealing with property known or reasonably believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offense,” the government said in a statement.

Investigations revealed that the duo opened personal accounts from May to November 2020 and allegedly dealt with money from unknown sources through bank transfers, cash deposits, and crypto.

The siblings reportedly received around $12.8 million from 380 different personal bank accounts that spanned nearly 2,500 transactions, according to the South China Morning Post.

“One cryptocurrency was pegged to US dollars,” Yu Yiu-wing, senior investigator at Hong Kong Customs’ syndicate crimes investigation bureau, told SCMP. “It was converted into US dollars on the platform and transferred to the brother’s bank account. The money was then diverted to different personal and corporate accounts.”

Both have been released on bail pending further investigation. The maximum penalty they face is a $650,000 fine and 14 years of imprisonment.

Crimes involving crypto have been a growing cause of concern for regulators and a key frustration for advocates attempting to bring investments in digital assets into the mainstream. Earlier this year, the Bank for International Settlement criticized the digital asset for its role in illegal activities.

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