European Banks Reportedly Spying on Bitcoin Holders
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European Banks Reportedly Spying on Bitcoin Holders

Avatar Yashu Gola 5 years ago

An anonymous bank employee from the Netherlands recently warned European Bitcoin holders that they are being scrutinized by the Europol, EU’s top-tier law enforcement agency.

In his Reddit post, the man claimed that his bank has received a memo from the aforesaid organization, which instructed them to report users that receive more than €1,000 through Bitcoin transactions. The memo further informed the bank about Europol’s current surveillance operations on some 52 European accounts based on their dubitable relationships with Darknet markets.

“I am not sure if this is connected to the Darknet, but I am quite sure that no vendor wants to have their business investigated,” the morally constrained snitch wrote.

“Before this report we where only required to report deposits above €10,500 within a year. So them moving it down all the way to €1k is quite troubling in my eyes. I cannot tell you which country this is, but the report attached comes from Europol. So I am assuming it is EU wide.”

The FIU Connection

In his attempts to connect appropriate dots, the snitch also posted a publicly-available document published by Netherland’s Financial Intelligence Unit last month. In it, the enforcement agency has clearly spoken about some ongoing investigations mentioning Bitcoin as a key funding-source to illicit activities such as child pornography, money laundering and terrorism.

As we looked into this report, we found a sensational case study, describing a suspicious Bitcoin transaction taken place between an unnamed entrepreneur and his two counterparts from Eastern Europe. In it, it was speculated that the said transaction was funding the production of hemp in Europe.

“Inquiries with the FIUs in neighboring countries and an FIU from Eastern Europe shows one of the men to be familiar with international money transfers,” noted the case study. “FIU from Eastern Europe indicates that the foreign man is well-known in the context of tax fraud. The information is shared with foreign FIUs and file is offered to the investigation.”

The whistleblower in this case was an anonymous financial institution, suspected to be headquartered in the Netherlands, reporting FIU directly. It is therefore possible that the 52 accounts mentioned above belong to the Netherlands only.

PS: Our snitch purchased drugs from Darknet markets, so we better believe him on this one.

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