Authorities Arrest 20 Suspected of Ties to Russian Rapper's Alleged Money Laundering Syndicate

Authorities accuse QQAAZZ of mounting a laundering-as-a-service operation for the criminal underworld.

Oct 15, 2020 at 3:09 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:10 a.m. UTC

European, American and Australian law enforcement said Thursday they have arrested 20 suspected members of QQAAZZ, the shadowy criminal money-laundering organization whose sloppy bitcoin tumbling tactics led to the March arrest of Russian rapper Maksim Boiko.

  • The group laundered "tens of millions of euros" for criminal clientele they advertised to online. Cryptocurrency tumbling was one laundering vector, said Europol.
  • Members laundered funds stolen from victims in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland and Italy, according to a U.S. criminal indictment unsealed Thursday.
  • At least 20 suspected QQAAZZ members are named in the court filings, though Boiko, who was arrested in April, is not. The arrested are accused of conspiracy to commit money laundering and subject to forfeiture allegations.
  • Bitcoin mining rigs were seized in the move, said Europol.

This is a developing story.

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