Criminal organizations in Japan use cryptocurrencies to launder money without being detected. Since 2016, more than 30 billion yen (approximately $271 million) was converted to different three cryptocurrencies and laundered to overseas exchanges, Japanese Newspaper Mainichi Shimbun reported on May 14.
The government is working hard to tighten its grip on money laundering, but criminal organizations’ anonymous trading of cryptocurrencies require an international effort.
"It's nearly impossible for Japan to handle the problem alone, even if trade is restricted to only domestic transfers or monitoring is enhanced, it's still not enough to counter money laundering. It would be best if all the group of 20 industrial and emerging nations and regions (G-20) would take the same steps toward prevention,” Japanese Financial Services Agency official explained.
Money gathered from illegal activities or drug trafficking is cut in smaller portions and converted to infamous “three anonymous siblings” namely to Zcash (ZEC/USD), DASH (DASH/USD) and Monero (XMR/USD).
These three cryptocurrencies allow complete anonymity for their owners since trading logs are not public.
Gangs are well organized, not lacking any manpower and hardware. They know that the most important thing is to stay under the radar, so they trade in small amounts. In order to hide their tracks they make many transaction via several exchanges and finally in Russia they are changing into local real currency.
FSA introduced a new law back in April 2017, demanding all cryptocurrency exchanges must register in the Agency and require tangible ID information from their clients. However such laws are not applicable for overseas exchanges.
China closed down exchange operations, South Korea is not allowing ICO’s of exchange providers, India is about to ban all trade activities related to cryptocurrencies, the EU is working on protection of users and the US is debating the structure of the system. It seems like at the moment crime organizations are a couple steps ahead of authorities.
By Nadya Astam