Japanese Police Reveal 669 Money Laundering Cases Tied to Local Exchanges.
Japanese investigators revealed they had obtained 669 reports concerning “suspected money laundering” tied to cryptocurrency transactions and domestic digital currency trading platforms. The linked data was derived from investigations spurred by the recent transaction reporting statutes licensed exchanges are required to follow.
Japanese police told the press that they are reviewing 669 cases that involve possible money laundering and cryptocurrency exchanges. The cases stem from transactions that took place between April and December of 2017. The data came from digital currency exchange ‘transaction reporting,’ a licensed cryptocurrency exchange requirement now tethered to the country’s existing AML/KYC laws, according to the regional reports.
The National Police Agency did not reveal why exchange operators were triggered to report the latest findings. However, while reporting on the recent investigation, Japan’s Nikkei Asia Review states the outcome was due to“questionable transactions recurring frequently in a short space of time.”
The news also follows the recent Coincheck hack where 58 billion yen ($540 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM was lost due to a hack. Coincheck was not among the 16 licensed exchanges in Japan and was waiting for licensure approval. 32 cryptocurrency exchange operators have been dealing with the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) a government agency involved with regulations and reporting requirements.
The National Police Agency also explained that suspected money-laundering cases involved with digital currencies have dropped compared to AML/KYC matters found in 2016. Last year there were 400,043 AML/KYC investigations and that metric was 1,048 cases less than the year before.
Additionally, Japan’s police agency says that most of the transaction reporting derived from banks and other types of financial companies. The agency reports that these institutions reported a total of 346,595 cases. Credit card companies and local credit unions disclosed 28,707 cases to the police department.
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