Chinese Authority Arrests 63 Suspects for $1.7 Billion Crypto Money Laundering

Since 2018, suspects have been converting their loot into U.S. dollars using crypto, according to the Hengyang county police department.

Three prisoners are standing behind a red pile of digital yen.
  • Authorities in Hunan Province arrested 63 people for allegedly laundering $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency. 
  • The suspects had been laundering gains from fraud and gambling across China. 
  • During the arrest, police retrieved more than $41.9 million, 100 computers, and mobile phones.
  • In September last year, Chinese authorities banned virtual assets for payments, crypto trading, and mining.

As China intensifies its opposition to cryptocurrency crime, the authorities in Hunan Province have arrested 63 people for allegedly laundering about $1.7 billion through cryptocurrency. 

The Hengyang County Police Department, through its official WeChat handle, revealed that the suspects, under the leadership of an individual identified as Hong, have been using crypto to convert their loot to U.S. dollars since 2018. Hong, alongside the suspects, had been laundering gains from fraud and gambling across China. 

Further, during the arrest, the police retrieved more than $41.9 million, 100 mobile phones, and computers from the suspects. The recent development confirms the fear of critics concerned about using cryptocurrency for illicit activities.


This is not the first time China has taken serious measures against cryptocurrency perpetrators. In June 2021, China arrested over 1,100 people suspected of money laundering using telephones and the internet. Further, also in Hunan, authorities arrested 93 people for allegedly laundering $5.6 billion through cryptocurrencies last September.

Chinese Ban on Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is struggling to strive in the Chinese government’s domain. In September 2021, the Chinese authorities banned cryptocurrency outright, forbidding the use of virtual assets for payments, as well as crypto trading and mining. 

Initially, the government aimed to curb capital outflows and money laundering using cryptocurrency. The Chinese government has since promoted its Central Bank Digital Currency, facilitating around 100 billion yuan since August 31. The project is still in the pilot phase in 23 cities on China’s mainland, with plans to expand to more provinces in the coming months. 


Notably, the ban has pushed virtual assets transactions to fall rapidly. Between July 2021 and June 2022, virtual assets transactions in China slumped by 31%.

On the Flipside

  • Despite the ban, Chinese citizens still use virtual assets. As of October, China remains the largest cryptocurrency market in East Asia. This indicates that the government’s ban on cryptocurrency is ineffective.

Why You Should Care

The steady movement of the cryptocurrency market in China is driven by individuals who engage in P2P trading. Nevertheless, the recent arrest of the suspects might usher in a strong wave of crackdowns by security agencies on cryptocurrency users in the country.


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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Soumen Datta

Soumen has been a dedicated researcher and writer in the field of cryptocurrencies for the last few years. Even though Indian crypto regulations are still unclear, he believes that India will continue to innovate in the years to come. He loves to play his guitar and sing along in his spare time. He holds bags mostly in BTC, ETH, BNB, MATIC, ADA.