Investigation triggered by reports of ‘scam activity’ on internet-enabled kiosk

Bitcoin ATM machines

Australian authorities have seized a cryptocurrency ATM and arrested a 38-year-old man as part of an investigation into an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange.

The unnamed man was arrested at his home in the Melbourne suburb of Cairnlea, from which police seized “a substantial amount of cash and false identification documents”.

The suspect is being interviewed for allegedly running an unregistered digital currency exchange service, despite apparently being issued a cease-and-desist notice by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) last year.

The arrest also relates to the offence of dealing with property that is “reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime”.

A cryptocurrency ATM was seized from a shopping mall in Braybrook, Victoria, as part of the investigation.

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Similar to cryptocurrency exchange services that are accessed through web browsers, cryptocurrency ATMs are internet-enabled kiosks that allow users to purchase and sell digital currencies.

Launched in June, the investigation was prompted by intelligence related to “scam activity” on the ATM.

Victoria Police collaborated with AUSTRAC, a government agency that monitors financial transactions, during the investigation.

This is one of the first cryptocurrency-related investigations undertaken by Victoria’s E-Crime Squad.

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