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FCA Cracks Down on Suspects in $1.2B Illegal Crypto Asset Business

Summary:
Two individuals were detained and questioned by the UK Metropolitan Police and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for allegedly running an illegal cryptocurrency operation exceeding 1 billion British pounds (.2 billion) in the region. The FCA emphasized key registration requirements for crypto businesses and issued consumer warnings. Suspects Arrested and Questioned According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a substantial amount of crypto assets has flowed through this cryptoasset business. The FCA press release stated that “More than £1 billion of unregistered crypto assets are believed to have been bought and sold through this business.” The individuals arrested, aged 38 and 44, were questioned and subsequently released on bail by the FCA. In their

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Two individuals were detained and questioned by the UK Metropolitan Police and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for allegedly running an illegal cryptocurrency operation exceeding 1 billion British pounds ($1.2 billion) in the region.

The FCA emphasized key registration requirements for crypto businesses and issued consumer warnings.

Suspects Arrested and Questioned

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a substantial amount of crypto assets has flowed through this cryptoasset business.

The FCA press release stated that “More than £1 billion of unregistered crypto assets are believed to have been bought and sold through this business.” The individuals arrested, aged 38 and 44, were questioned and subsequently released on bail by the FCA.

In their investigation, the Metropolitan Police in London confiscated numerous digital devices associated with the business during searches of the suspects’ residences. Recently granted powers allow UK police to seize and freeze crypto assets as part of fraud inquiries.

Therese Chambers, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA emphasized the agency’s commitment to preventing illegal crypto activities in the UK financial system. She stated,

“The FCA has an important role to play in keeping dirty money out of the UK financial system. These arrests show we will do everything in our power to stop crypto firms from operating illegally in the UK.”

Previously criticized for slow enforcement actions, the FCA has mandated registration for all crypto asset-related businesses since January 2021. This measure aims to ensure compliance with UK money laundering regulations and combat financial crimes such as terrorist financing and illicit fund transfers.

Since the requirement was implemented, more than 300 businesses have applied for registration to offer crypto-related services, but only approximately 44 companies have been successfully registered.

FCA Listed Requirements

According to the release, businesses offering specific crypto asset services must register with the FCA under the MLRs and adhere to established rules and regulations. The FCA emphasized its authority to issue directives and impose restrictions on crypto businesses as authorized by the MLRs.

The watchdog regularly alerts UK citizens about the risks associated with crypto assets and maintains a list of suspected unregistered businesses.

Regarding ongoing investigations, the FCA stated they would refrain from commenting at this time and will provide further updates as appropriate in the future.

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