Israeli police arrested three people suspected of a multi-million dollar scheme to launder money stolen from the French state treasury using digital assets.
The covert investigation has been conducted over the past few months in conjunction with the Israeli police and the country’s tax authority. Foreign investigative bodies, Europol and the French police, cooperated with the Israeli authorities.
According to investigators, a “large-scale fraud” involving cryptocurrencies was committed against the state treasury on French territory. However, they also consider the possibility that the crime was also committed in Israel.
Under Israeli tax law, the sale of cryptocurrencies is subject to a capital gains tax of up to 33%. On the other hand, if the activity is subject to business income tax, it can be as high as 50%. Israeli authorities have said that the crime was committed by an organised criminal group.
“Several suspects formed a group to launder money from abroad and Israel. Some of these funds were derived from crimes committed abroad using digital currencies on various platforms to conceal the identity of the owners of the funds and their movements,” the agencies said.
In addition to the three arrested for questioning, several other citizens have been detained on suspicion of money laundering, fraud and tax offences, as well as deliberate concealment of income.
As a reminder, a law came into effect in Israel on August 1, which recommends the use of alternative digital payment methods and prohibits large cash and bank cheque transactions.
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