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Man arrested as part of cryptocurrency investigation

This is a joint media release from Victoria Police and AUSTRAC.

Detectives from the E-Crime Squad have arrested a man today as part of an investigation into unregistered cryptocurrency transactions.

The 38-year-old Cairnlea man was arrested at his home address in Cairnlea.

He is currently being interviewed in relation to two Commonwealth offences:

  • Section 76A(5) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter –Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth): Having provided a registrable Digital Currency Exchange (DCE) service when not registered; and continuing to provide a registrable DCE service following AUSTRAC's Cease and Desist notice of 1 November 2018; and
  • Section 400.9 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth): Dealing with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.

Police seized a substantial quantity of cash and false identification documents during the warrants, which were executed from just after 7am.

Detectives also seized a cryptocurrency ATM from a shopping centre in Braybrook today as part of the investigation.

The investigation commenced in June this year after AUSTRAC provided intelligence regarding reports of scam activity linked to the ATM, which led to police examining a number of transactions on the machine.

Victoria Police worked in cooperation with AUSTRAC during this investigation, which is one of the first by the E-Crime Squad relating to cryptocurrency transactions.

AUSTRAC’s acting National Manager Intelligence Operations David Hawkins said this outcome demonstrates the importance of close collaboration between AUSTRAC and our law enforcement partners in stopping financial crime.

Media contact

AUSTRAC: 02 9950 0488

Victoria Police: 03 9247 5205