A 35-year-old woman was arrested for illegally obtaining £115,000 worth of cryptocurrency on Wednesday according to a report by the Met’s Proactive Money Laundering Team.
Detectives opened the investigation because the unnamed woman seemed to be controlling a large amount of "fraudulently obtained" bitcoin, according to the report. She allegedly applied for a number of 'Bounce Back Loans,' a program launched by the United Kingdom's government to assist small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Met claims the woman utilized a number of mule bank accounts to receive the proceeds of fraudulent applications.
The investigation revealed that the money was then transferred from the mule accounts to the suspect’s cryptocurrency wallet. Later, Met officers along with officers from Suffolk Constabulary’s Proactive Crime Team searched the woman’s residence in Ipswich, finding multiple children left on their own.
However, the woman was later caught near her residence and arrested on suspicions of fraud, money laundering and child neglect. She was then taken to the police station for questioning, but released shortly afterward. Met officers have applied to a London magistrates’ court for the seizure of the money held in the suspect’s crypto wallet, per the report.
“I would like to assure the public that the Met remains committed to working with institutions in the regulated financial sector and law enforcement partners to tackle organized financial crime and bring these serious criminals to justice,” Detective Sergeant Ian Barrett, from the Met’s Proactive Money Laundering Team said.