A Brazilian criminal has been linked to the crypto money laundering activities of a London fintech CEO
Supposedly, the founder of a fintech company used cryptocurrency exchanges to launder hundreds of millions of euros.
Caio Marchesani, the founder of a London-based fintech firm, reportedly assisted drug traffickers in laundering hundreds of millions of euros via digital currency exchanges. Trans-Fast Remittance, Marchesani’s Financial Conduct Authority-authorized fintech firm, facilitates international money transfers.
Marchesani was wanted by Belgian authorities as they worked to break up a global criminal organization. In a criminal case involving a Brazilian called Sergio Roberto De Carvalho, the police accused Marchesani of “knowingly and intentionally” changing a huge sum of money to Bitcoin on the criminal’s behalf. Interpol issued a Red Notice for de Carvalho’s arrest on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder.
There is concern that this case might undermine Britain’s financial technology sector and encourage the global spread of illegal money. More than a third of digital money businesses regulated by the UK triggered “red flags,” prompting Transparency International UK to demand more oversight.
After Dutch authorities recovered over 12 tons of cocaine worth over $283 million, the Belgians began their investigation three years ago. De Carvalho was identified as the source of the cocaine. Authorities eventually engaged Marchesani after he helped decipher encrypted communications.
Marchesani reportedly stored cash for De Carvalho and handled 14 Binance accounts, charging De Carvalho exorbitant fees to move money between the accounts. The suspect was apprehended in May of 2023 at London’s Heathrow Airport, and a decision is expected in September of that year. An official from Binance said that the information offered to authorities was “practical operational assistance.”
The thieves were said to have fused modern technology with Hawala, a well-known Middle Eastern money transfer mechanism. Prosecutors in Belgium claim that after the COVID outbreak, the organization increasingly relied on cryptocurrency since the transfer of cash became more difficult.