The potential negative use of cryptocurrencies was once again highlighted in a recent headline-grabbing Europol operation. Dubbed as Europe’s biggest LSD bust, authorities seized hundreds of thousands of LSD doses, along with millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies.
Europe’s Biggest LSD Bust
Working with Europol, the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Austrian Police raided six houses located in Spain and one house in Austria in an operation aimed at dismantling a criminal network that was manufacturing and peddling drugs on the Darknet. It was dubbed by the media as the biggest LSD bust in the continent as authorities were able to seize 800,000 doses of LSD.
Eight people believed to be members of an organized crime group were arrested during the raids. Europol said that the crime network started its operations in 2012 and used the Darknet to sell their illegal products. Since then, the group’s operations expanded and were serving various customers located in over 100 countries.
According to authorities, the syndicate camouflaged the drugs as legal goods, such as cement additives, to make their drug shipments appear legitimate. As a result of the raids, two laboratories used by the criminal group to manufacture synthetic drugs have been dismantled.
Cryptocurrencies in Drug Trade
Unfortunately for the cryptocurrency community, the drug bust likewise highlighted the fact that criminals can use cryptocurrencies in running their illegal operations. Along with the record-breaking amount of LSD recovered, authorities were also able to seize around $5.2 million of cryptocurrencies composed of Bitcoins, IOTA and Lumen.
While the various advantages of cryptocurrencies have also been recognized, critics have always warned that these digital assets might be used in various criminal activities such as money laundering and even financing terrorism. Digital currencies make it harder for authorities to trace transactions, which makes them the ideal choice of payment method for criminals such as those engaged in the illegal drugs trade.