The police in China arrested over 1,100 people suspected of using cryptocurrencies to launder illegal proceeds from telephone and internet scams in a recent crackdown, announced the Ministry of Public Security.
The arrests came as the authorities in China intensify their crackdown on cryptocurrency trading. Last month, three industry bodies banned bitcoin and payments services and the State Council, China's government vowed to shut down cryptocurrency mining and trading.
The public security ministry said that on Wednesday afternoon police had arrested more than 170 criminal groups, who were using Bitcoin to launder money.
The money laundering firms charged their official clients a commission of 1.5% to 5% to convert illegal proceeds through crypto exchanges into some currencies, the ministry said via its criminal Wechat account.
The Payment Clearing Association of China said on Wednesday that the number of crimes involving online money is on the rise.
Because cryptocurrencies are global in nature, they have become increasingly an important channel for transborder money laundering, the association added in a statement.
Cryptocurrencies have already become a safe means of payment in the illegal gambling. Nearly 13% of gambling sites support the use of virtual currencies and blockchain technology has made it more difficult for authorities to track the money according to the association.