Australia’s first case of cybercrime involves the illegal exchange of cash to cryptocurrency. The Detective Superintendent of the Cybercrime Squad has declared that this arrest is the first of many.
Australia has had its first recorded case of cybercrime concerning cryptocurrency, with an unidentified woman charged with illegally changing cash into the leading digital asset.
The suspect, who is 52 years old, was located and arrested at a shopping mall in Burwood yesterday. She is accused of being a member of a syndicate that profits off of the illegal exchange of Bitcoin.
The New South Wales (NSW) Police seized $60,000 AUD in cash and $56,694.43 AUD worth of Bitcoin.
The suspect was charged with three counts of knowingly dealing with proceeds of the crime and for breaching a requirement for digital currency exchange services.
Investigation on the woman began in November 2018, when Strike Force Kerriwah was established by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad to investigate a money-laundering syndicate on the internet across NSW. The main modus of this syndicate was to illegally exchange cash to cryptocurrency.
As part of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, the Cybercrime Squad Commander, alleges that the cryptocurrency wallet used by the people involved has transacted 326 bitcoins since 2017.
“That equates to over $5 million [AUD] in today’s money. This is a significant quantity of Bitcoin for somebody who is not a registered digital currency exchange.” Craft explained.
Craft also revealed that a search warrant was carried out at a home in Hurstville yesterday, where they seized an equivalent of $18,000 AUD in Bitcoin, as well as telephones, smartphones, and computers.
“This particular investigation is believed to be an Australian first where unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges who operate have been identified and in this case prosecution [can] commence.” Det Supt. Craft said.
It is against Australian law to provide digital currency exchange services in Australia if not registered to do so. The possible consequences of noncompliance include a civil penalty order, penalty units, enforceable undertaking, infringement notices and remedial directions.