NSW woman trading Bitcoin for cash charged

A woman who allegedly exchanged cash for cryptocurrency and transacted more than $5 million worth of Bitcoin has been charged.

The 52-year-old was allegedly operating an online money laundering syndicate trading digital currency for cash in NSW, which police began investigating in November 2018.

She was arrested at a Burwood shopping centre about 1pm on Thursday, with officers allegedly seizing $60,000 cash from her handbag. They also found 3.8 Bitcoin – valued at more than $55,000 – stored on an electronic device in the bag.

Police have also seized a number of other items including electronic storage devices, digital currency wallets and a further $18,200 worth of Bitcoin from a unit at Hurstville.

Detective Superintendent Matt Craft said it was the first arrest by the cybercrime squad relating to non-compliant digital currency providers in NSW.

“While cash is still king, digital currencies are fast becoming the preferred choice for organised criminal networks involved in money laundering, funding terrorism and cybercrimes,” Det Supt Craft said in a statement on Friday.

“It is concerning that when this kind of online exchange goes unregulated, it can allow criminals to move currency and launder funds seemingly undetected.”

The woman was charged with three counts of knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime and breaching digital currency exchange service requirements.

She was bailed to appear at Burwood Local Court on July 20.