Police in China’s Zunyi City Bust a $124M Money Laundering Scam

Authorities were on the case for two months, following a directive from the country’s State Council.

Oct 13, 2021 at 9:46 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 13, 2021 at 1:39 p.m. UTC

Police in China’s southwest region busted a group that was using cryptocurrencies to launder stolen money, which involved 800 million yuan (US$124 million), according to local media.

  • Authorities in Zunyi, a city in China’s Guizhou province, were on the case for two months, following a directive from the State Council, China’s minister cabinet, according to a report from a local news site.
  • The police arrested 100 suspects and solved 332 cases of telecom fraud nationwide, according to the report.
  • China’s top regulators banned all crypto-related transactions on Sept. 24.
  • The accused pretended to be recruiting personnel for a company.
  • They opened trading accounts on crypto exchanges Binance, Huobi and OKEx using the information collected, “peddled” crypto by buying low and selling high, and laundered stolen funds through telecom fraud and other criminal acts, the article said.
  • The gang was able to conceal its actions for a while by using up to 500 bank cards and only transacting in small amounts.
  • Starting today, China’s ubiquitous messaging app WeChat appears to be blocking searches for “Binance” and “Huobi,” joining an earlier round of censoring on search engine Baidu and Twitter-like Weibo.
  • Zunyi is a city of 6 million people and is known for its important role in Chinese Communist Party history; it was at a meeting in Zunyi that Mao Zedong rose to the leadership of the party.


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Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk news reporter based in Asia.