UK crypto exchange accused of hoarding piles of criminal cash and converting it to bitcoin
A fintech owner in London is facing allegations that he helped notorious drug traffickers attempt to launder hundreds of millions of euros through a crypto exchange platform on a scale rarely seen by European prosecutors.
Authorities in Belgium are seeking the extradition of Caio Marchesani from the UK as part of their effort to dismantle a transnational gang.
They accuse the 38-year-old Italian of “knowingly and intentionally” hoarding piles of cash and converting them to bitcoin for Sergio Roberto De Carvalho, a Brazilian described by Interpol as one of the world’s most wanted kingpins before his arrest in 2022, and Flor Bressers, a Belgian national known as the “finger cutter,” who was also nabbed last year.
The case puts the British financial technology scene under fresh scrutiny amid fears that its weak controls are enabling the movement of illicit funds around the world. Transparency International UK has called for tougher supervision after finding that more than one-third of UK-licensed electronic money institutions show red flags.
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— With assistance by Stephanie Bodoni, Donal Griffin, and Sarah Jacob
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