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Cypriot Regulatory Body Observes an Increase in Potentially Suspicious Crypto Transactions

Updated: Feb 29

Last year, the organization registered 27 instances of reports on transactions deemed suspicious. Anticipating an increase, the agency foresees a surge in other forms of fraudulent financial activities.

Cyprus Crypto

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in Cyprus anticipates an increase in Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) concerning cryptocurrencies after the island implemented regulations for the digital asset industry. The directives were introduced by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in 2021 to oversee the operations of Crypto Asset Service Providers.


As per the inaugural Strategic Analysis Report for the years 2020 through 2023, released by the Cypriot Financial Intelligence Unit, MOKAS, a total of 27 cases involving suspicious transactions with cryptocurrencies were reported in 2022. This figure marks a significant increase compared to the respective numbers of 20 and 19 in the preceding two consecutive years.


The report focused on discerning trends and patterns related to money laundering and terrorist financing, encompassing activities such as fraud, corruption, tax evasion, and involvement in human and narcotics trafficking that were linked to cryptocurrencies.


"This report covers trends and common practices identified in STRs and SARs received from reporting entities during 2020-2022, Requests and Spontaneous Disclosures from foreign FIU's as well as Requests from Cyprus Police Authorities and from the Cyprus Customs and Excise Department," the report stated.

The report places continued emphasis on cryptocurrencies, underscoring that digital currencies serve as the predominant method of payment on the dark web. Criminals are employing mixers to further obscure the source of cryptocurrencies.


Moreover, the agency observed a growing trend in fraudulent activities based on the suspicious reports it received. The data reveals an increase in incidents, with 242 reported in 2022 compared to 259 and 334 in the preceding two years, respectively.


Photo by Invest Europe on Unsplash

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