The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) and other authorities including Europol have seized one of the three largest cryptocurrency tumblers, BestMixer.
A cryptocurrency tumbler also referred to as a cryptocurrency mixer is a service that asserts to mix possibly identifiable or “tainted” crypto funds with others. rendering it increasingly difficult to trace the funds’ original source. Generally, coin mixer customers pay a single fee in addition to the funds they send in, collecting back their money from an entirely new address
The authorities said Wednesday that their investigation against BestMixer started last summer of June 2018. They alleged that the mixing service was utilized to aid monetary transactions with illicit intent, mainly where the tumbler was used to conceal and launder cryptocurrencies worth $200 million, which is approximately 27,000 bitcoins.
In a press release, Europol said:
“Bestmixer.io was one of the three largest mixing services for cryptocurrencies and offered services for mixing the cryptocurrencies bitcoins, bitcoin cash and litecoins.”
As part of the investigation, the authorities have seized six servers located in Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Europol implies that the investigation has not concluded yet. The law enforcement agency disclosed that authorities plan to follow up on the vital information from this week’s seized servers that may help them in locating launderers involved with BestMixer.
“The Dutch FIOD has gathered information on all the interactions on this platform in the past year; this includes IP-addresses, transaction details, bitcoin addresses, and chat messages,” the agency said. “The FIOD will now analyze this information in cooperation with Europol and intelligence packages will be shared with other countries.”
According to FIOD, the customers of BestMixer were located globally, but the majority are based in the US, Germany, and the Netherlands.
As Europol mentioned, the shut down of BestMixer is the first legal enforcement action against a cryptocurrency mixing service.