Taiwan’s law enforcement agencies busted what could be the largest cryptocurrency-related money laundering case in the region, involving 324.2 million USDT.
The Criminal Bureau’s Electronic Investigation Team of Taiwan has confiscated numerous pieces of evidence, including a Lamborghini, a LEXUS LM, three high-end timepieces, work-related mobile phones, and narcotics.
Taiwan’s Biggest Ever Crypto Bust
According to a statement from the criminal investigation bureau of the police agency in the industrial city of Taichung, a suspect with the surname Chiu was arrested in June.
Chiu is alleged to have facilitated the laundering of over 324.2 million USDT, which was linked to an investment fraud case exposed in October 2022. In addition to Chiu, three other individuals were also apprehended, as reported by the local newspaper United Daily News.
The police investigation revealed that the fraud group instructed victims to transfer their funds to fraudulent accounts and subsequently funneled these illicit funds to overseas cryptocurrency exchanges or individual crypto traders. Chiu is accused of acquiring these cryptocurrencies and converting them into cash.
A specialized task force determined that Chiu had been a frequent traveler to Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Malaysia, which according to the authorities raised suspicions that the suspect might have been in communication with international gambling and fraudulent organizations.
Chiu was apprehended by the police in June at Taoyuan International Airport upon the suspect’s return to the country.
Virtual Asset Management Bill
Even though Taiwan has been known for its tough crypto stance, its lawmakers presented the Virtual Asset Management Bill to the single-chamber parliament, known as the Legislative Yuan last week. The main objective of the 30-page bill is to enhance customer safeguards and ensure effective oversight of the industry.
It outlined requirements for the virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and proposed obligations, including segregating customer funds from the company’s reserve funds, implementing an internal control and audit system, and affiliating with the local trade association.
Under the proposed legislation, VASPs that operate without a license could face fines ranging from a minimum of 2 million Taiwanese dollars (approximately $60,000) to a maximum of 20 million TWD ($600,000). Additionally, businesses currently active in the Taiwanese market will be granted a six-month window to secure a license once the bill is enacted.
Last July, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) sent a letter to the Association of Banks requesting credit card companies to cease processing payments for merchants involved in cryptocurrency-related activities.