Cryptocurrency laundering bust in Sydney

·1-min read

Cybercrime detectives in Sydney have seized $1 million in cash and charged a man who allegedly ran a criminal syndicate that laundered money through cryptocurrency.

Strike Force Curns was set up in October to investigate the syndicate and on Monday officers arrested a 30-year-old man following a vehicle stop in Strathfield in Sydney's inner west.

During a subsequent search detectives seized two bags containing $1 million cash, police said in a statement.

A further search of a home at Wentworth Point allegedly led investigators to more than a kilogram of methylamphetamine, cocaine, mobile phones, a laptop, electronic storage devices and cash.

The man was charged with dealing with the proceeds of crime, directing the activities of a criminal group and supplying and helping supply prohibited drugs of a large commercial quantity.

Police will allege the man directed a criminal syndicate to launder money by converting cash into bitcoin on his behalf, totalling $5,479,300.

Cybercrime Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Matt Craft said it was an organised criminal group operating as money launderers for hire.

"This is the first phase of arrests and it is anticipated further arrests will be made over the next four weeks as the evidence gathered is collated and assessed," he said.

"The message is clear, the fact you deal in cryptocurrency does not place you beyond the reach of the NSW Police Force."

The man was refused bail and remanded to appear at Central Local Court on April 19.