Australian E-Crime Squad conducts arrest as part of cryptocurrency investigation

Maria Nikolova

The 38-year-old man, who was arrested today, is accused of having provided a registrable Digital Currency Exchange service when not registered.

AUSTRAC and the Victoria Police have earlier today made a joint announcement regarding the arrest of a 38-year-old Cairnlea man in connection with a cryptocurrency investigation.

Detectives from the E-Crime Squad have arrested the man today as part of an investigation into unregistered cryptocurrency transactions.

The man is currently being interviewed in relation to two Commonwealth offences:

  • Section 76A(5) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter –Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth): Having provided a registrable Digital Currency Exchange (DCE) service when not registered; and continuing to provide a registrable DCE service following AUSTRAC’s Cease and Desist notice of 1 November 2018; and
  • Section 400.9 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth): Dealing with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.

Police seized a substantial quantity of cash and false identification documents during the warrants, which were executed from just after 7am. Detectives also seized a cryptocurrency ATM from a shopping centre in Braybrook today as part of the investigation.

The investigation commenced in June this year after AUSTRAC provided intelligence regarding reports of scam activity linked to the ATM, which led to police examining a number of transactions on the machine.

Under Australian laws, DCE providers are required to:

  • enroll and register with AUSTRAC;
  • establish, implement and maintain an AML/CTF program, which sets the framework for businesses to comply with their obligations, including customer due diligence requirements;
  • report threshold transactions and suspicious matters to AUSTRAC, and
  • keep appropriate records.

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