170+ Bitcoin Laundering Cases in Japan
On Thursday 11/30/2017 Police reported 170 cases of suspected financial laundering that are tied to cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, and they occurred in the only 6 months time. The first report, delivered by the National Police Agency, was conducted following a revision to a Japanese law that prevents the transfer of funds collected through criminal activities. The revision added a requirement for cryptocurrency exchanges to report suspicious transactions that showed signs of laundering.
It is rumored that reports were made involving frequent, high dollar transactions that were questionable. Upon analyzing reported incidents, the agency has provided details to be investigated by proper Japanese authorities
Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies have a much bigger appeal than traditional methods of sending money internationally, due to ease of use, time, and privacy concerns. Due to the privacy crypto offers its users, the money is not easily tracked, and there is potential for abuse in this scenario. Of course, an outlaw would prefer to remain cloaked in a cryptographic transaction, so this makes crypto coins the money of choice for a lot of the shadier types. One scammer doesn’t make all crypto users shady, so this stereotype is especially annoying to the people who are in fact decent, law-abiding, cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
In Japan, there are currently 11 exchanges that are operating in accordance with Japanese law. That number needs to increase, by landslides in order for bitcoin to flourish. The number of suspected laundering cases in Japan is an astonishing 1,178,112, of which over 15%, are allegedly linked to organized crime rings according to reports. Police have taken action in 1,077 cases, 20% of these are tied to known gangsters.
In a coinciding effort to keep control over the flow of funds in and out of Japan, the punishment for smuggling gold will have dramatic increases in fines and restitution. The ministry will introduce this legislation next year.