FCA arrests two in raid on exchange trading more than £1bn worth of cryptocurrency

Trades: Two suspects have been arrested in connection with an illegal cryptocurrency exchange

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of running an illegal exchange trading more than £1billion worth of cryptocurrency.

The suspects, aged 38 and 44, had their London offices searched by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), while police seized several digital devices at two homes.

More than £1billion of unregistered crypto assets are believed to have been bought and sold through the business. Both suspects were released on bail.

‘The FCA has an important role to play in keeping dirty money out of the UK financial system,’ said executive director of enforcement and market oversight Therese Chambers.

The arrests come off the back of a wider crackdown on the industry following the dramatic collapse of exchange FTX and various other operators. 

The FCA has been the anti-money laundering ‘supervisor’ for crypto asset businesses in the UK since the start of 2020.

Latest figures show the regulator has received 347 applications to register of which just 47, or 14 per cent, have been accepted.

The FCA has consistently warned that investors should be prepared to lose all their money if they invest in crypto, arguing they are unregulated and high-risk.

In May the Chinese ‘bitcoin queen’ Jian Wen was jailed for six years for a £3billion crypto fraud. 

The former Chinese takeaway worker was found guilty of money laundering. She came to the police’s attention when she tried to buy a £23.5million Hampstead mansion.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk