Victor Ugochukwu · Dec 14, 2020 . 5min read
French Police arrests 29 people financing Syrian Terrorists Groups in crypto
French police have arrested approximately 29 people suspected of financing terrorist groups with cryptocurrency in Syria.
By Komal Joshi · Sep 30, 2020 . 5min read
French police arrested 29 individuals yesterday in a sting operation against an alleged network of financiers of extremist groups in Syria in one of the country’s most extensive search operations. Prosecutors claim that the terrorism-financing network provided coupons to extremist contacts in Syria credited to Bitcoin accounts.
However, this method of funding through coupons to the extremist groups and contacts is considerably different from the conventional methods of transferring funds and laundering money to groups With the rise in the use of cryptocurrencies it is easier proposing potential alternatives to terror groups and their donors. The prosecutors’ statement confirmed this. It stated that consistent monitoring of these networks helped terrorist organizations to seek more obscurity by utilizing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Tracfin discovered a network of fund transfers.
France commenced an investigation in January when Tracfin discovered a complicated network of funds transfers to French jihadis residing in Syria. Tuesday’s arrests focused on a financing network that has been operating since 2019. It was based on the purchase of cryptocurrency coupons in France. With the help of secure messaging, they were transferring the coupon details to jihadis in Syria. They could then recover the money via cryptocurrency platforms.
Since 2019, the 29 accomplices have purportedly been assisting the operations of an Al-Qaeda affiliate terror organization. The terror organization is known as Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham. The network’s architects are reportedly two French jihadists in their mid-20s. They both are possibly in northeastern Syria.
According to the prosecutor’s dozens of people in France frequently and anonymously bought cryptocurrency coupons worth 10 to 150 euros. The coupons were credited to jihadi accounts abroad. They then converted them into cryptocurrency. Through their network, they laundered hundreds of thousands of euros. Therefore, benefiting Al-Qaeda members still hiding out in northwest Syria. It also benefitted the Islamic State group’s jihadis, which has been on the run since its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, died during a raid by U.S. forces in October 2019.
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