Hong Kong student helped launder about $12.8 million through cryptocurrencies

A simple student helped a criminal gang launder $12.7 million through cryptocurrencies, Hong Kong police said.

Chief Inspector Chu Ming-man said the money was transferred to e-wallet accounts overseas to avoid detection:

“Investigation revealed: the syndicate was handling more than HK$1 million ($128,000) a day.”

Hong Kong police arrested a total of six people. The group of suspects, ranging in age from 22 to 36, includes the alleged ringleader, two key participants, the one cryptocurrency-savvy student and a certain watch store employee.


“This was a well-organized syndicate with a clear division of work and the use of multi-layered approaches to complicate the police investigation,” Chu Minman added.

In Hong Kong, money laundering is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and a fine of HK$5 million ($640000).

Recently, four teenagers from the UK capital received a total of 23 years in prison for stealing $150,000 worth of cryptocurrencies. The youths threatened victims with knives, took away their phones and crypto wallet passwords.

And recently, two 17-year-olds from Canada stole $4 million in bitcoins and ether from a U.S. citizen, posing as support workers for cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.