Almost virtual cave of Ali Baba. The gendarmes of the Cambrai Research Brigade in the north, last week, received an unusual grand prize during their searches. They made it possible to confiscate, from a couple and the homes of their entourage, in Cambrisis, 1.5 million euros of crypto assets, as well as 10 kilograms of gold in bullion, and more than 250 gold and silver coins, for a total estimated amount of 500,000 euros.
The two accused, a 43-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman, are suspected of laundering tax evasion thanks to the unique mechanism they put in place. Gains were obtained through speculation on crypto-broking platforms – which is allowed – but never announced, which is less.
Unique operating mode
The couple were detained for forty-eight hours before being released. Well almost. In fact, the husband is imprisoned since 2019 for driving while intoxicated and without a license.
It is the cyber-gendarmes of the research department of Villeneuve-d’Ascq, which specializes in the financial field, who have put their finger on the method for operating the money transfers created by the duo. In this mission, they were supported by another gendarmerie: the Regional Cell of Criminal Origins in the North.
disproportionate standard of living
The investigation began at the end of 2019. At that time, the investigating judge heard the main accused in the course of the road case. Then this man reported a disproportionate standard of living in relation to his declared activities, which drew attention,” the gendarmerie said in a press release.
Investigations quickly confirm that the concerned party and his wife own five homes, cash deposits and crypto assets, unrelated to their official income.
Cyber investigators eventually prove that large purchases of gold are made on the web in bitcoins and are actually delivered to his home. They also discover that the gold is then sold abroad, mainly in shops in Belgium,” the gendarmes add. It is suspected that the defendant acted in prison with the complicity of his wife.
But where do bitcoins come from and how did the network originate? This is what the cyber-gendarmerie continues to pursue without favoring any hypothesis. One source adds: “The benefit of this case is that it allows us to suspend an underground place on the web called the Darknet where illegal transactions take place.”
The investigation continues to try to exploit the digital media that was seized during the searches and to reveal all transactions.
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