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Detectives investigating cybercrimes in South Florida have noticed that a growing network of crypto ATMs is becoming part of a scheme to launder the criminal proceeds of criminal groups.
Miami police concluded that the prerequisite for this was gaps in the regulation of the industry, which allow criminals to launder through crypto assets money received from drug trafficking, robberies or other illegal activities.
According to the latest statistics, there are more than 50,000 devices in the United States. There are many reasons why the popularity of crypto ATMs is growing – they are convenient and attractive for both small businesses and ordinary market participants. For example, the owners of retail outlets receive rent for the installation of crypto ATMs and a percentage of operations, and users can easily buy or exchange cryptocurrency. However, the ease with which people gain access to the crypto asset market cannot but cause concern among law enforcement agencies.
Miami Police Sgt. Bridget Doyle of a special team at the South Florida Cybercrime Investigation Center said small drug dealers can hire a minor for a couple of dollars to enter the address of a crypto wallet and deposit cash into the account through a crypto ATM. And although most devices conduct video recording of operations, and some even ask to scan the driver’s license, scammers can easily bypass these restrictions.
“When criminals start laundering money through crypto ATMs, the first thing they do is look for new identity cards. As for verifying the address of the crypto wallet, it changes with each transaction and it is very difficult for the police to track it, “said Doyle.
Therefore, the sergeant doubts that the state authorities should allow the expansion of the network of crypto ATMs, operations in which leave almost no financial trace.
Last year, U.S. crypto ATM operators formed the Cryptocurrency Compliance Cooperative (CCC) to improve security and compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations when making cryptocurrency transactions.
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