Kenyan police arrest three Bitcoin traders on money laundering charge

The Kenyan police have arrested three Bitcoin brokers on claims of trading stolen money through the local trading platform LocalBitcoins. The alleged criminals, Emma Kariuki, Stanley Mumo, and Timothy Gachehe, were reportedly using funds stolen by a person using the pseudonym “BADASS20” from the I&M Bank and a Safaricom Pay Bill account.

According to regional media outlet Kenyan Wall Street, the anonymous thief has stolen KEH 10.2 million ($100,000) from the financial establishments and used the money to purchase Bitcoins via the exchange LocalBitcoins.

The local police traced the stolen money to various bank accounts, including those owned by the arrested Bitcoin traders. The traders argued that they didn’t about its source, which seems to be congruent with their chat history.

Despite this, the Kenyan Banking Fraud Investigation Unit (BFIU) still arrested the traders and froze their bank accounts, although the brokers were able to post bails and were eventually released.

Although the country’s central bank has previously warned against trading cryptos, the Kenyan P2P trading market is on the rise.

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