- The Financial Conduct Authority announced actions against unlawful cryptocurrency ATMs.
- The raids are the result of a combined investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the digital intelligence and investigative unit of the West Yorkshire police department.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom, in collaboration with West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence Unit, raided numerous properties in Leeds suspected of operating illegal cryptocurrency ATMs.
Evidence was collected from numerous locations throughout the city that were thought to be housing devices enabling users to purchase or convert conventional money into crypto assets like bitcoin.
The authority claims to have recently visited and investigated a number of locations close to the northern English city of Leeds that were thought to be home to unlicensed cryptocurrency ATMs.
The FCA noted that no cryptocurrency ATM operators in the United Kingdom currency have FCA registration when it made the announcement on February 14. All cryptocurrency exchange providers, including operators of crypto ATMs, were required to register with the FCA and adhere to U.K. money laundering laws, according to the regulator.
The FCA recently unveiled that violating its new guidelines for crypto advertising might result in a two-year prison sentence.
All cryptocurrency businesses, including those with overseas offices and those marketing to UK customers, must shortly comply with the new UK financial and promotional framework.
According to Mark Steward, executive head of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, cryptocurrency businesses operating in the UK must enrol with the agency for anti-money laundering objectives.
The regulator said: “The FCA will assess material acquired during these visits and consider additional potential enforcement action.”
The executive also stated that “unregistered crypto ATMs operating in the United Kingdom are conducting their business unlawfully” and that crypto products are “presently unregulated and high-risk,” alerting investors to expect to lose all of their money with crypto.
Warning notices were issued demanding the operators halt and desist using the devices and that any infringement of guidelines would lead to an investigation under money-laundering regulations,” said Detective Sergent Lindsay Brants of the West Yorkshire police’s Force Cyber Team.
Although the FCA does not regulate crypto assets, it does demand that all businesses that deal in cryptocurrencies register and demonstrate they have strong anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing measures.