Digital Yuan: First Case of Money Laundering Reported in China

China has just recently launched its central bank digital currency, digital Yuan, and there are already reports that the Xinmi police has uncovered the first money laundering scheme involving the digital Yuan. This is contrary to the claim by the Chinese government who celebrated the digital Yuan as a safe and secure method of payment. 

The money laundering scheme was uncovered by a joint effort between the Xinmi Police Force and Security Force in Zhengzhou. Their joint effort led to the arrest of eleven suspects due to their involvement in money laundering racket using digital Yuan. It was also revealed that the suspects were making use of the digital Yuan to launder money for a group operating in Cambodia.

Digital Yuan Scam via Telecommunications 

The scheme to launder the digital Yuan was done via the use of a telecommunications network in Xinmi City. The gang members of the fraudulent group targeted victims with random calls about their faulty online purchases especially concerning quality issues. The scammers will then offer to compensate the victims for the error by paying them three times the price of the product.

They will then ask the victims of their fraud for verification which would involve multiple transfers of digital Yuan. According to the Criminal Investigation Brigade of the Public Security Bureau, multiple payments were made to a particular electronic wallet by the victims of the scam. However, it was noted that the transaction mode of the wallet differed from that of the previous online payment. 

At the moment, the suspected perpetrators of the fraud are being detained by the Xinmi City Public Security Bureau for further investigations. These scammers have defrauded many victims using the recently launched digital Yuan and hence challenging the assertion by the Chinese government about the safety and security of the digital currency.

China CBDC Isn’t Immune to Illicit Financial Activities 

Digital renminbi experts in China believe that the controllable anonymity feature of the digital Yuan will ensure a good degree of anonymity during transactions while protecting personal information. However, the primary focus of the CBDC is for the prevention and combating illicit and criminal activities which include money laundering, financing terrorism, evasion of taxes, etc. The digital Yuan is also being promoted as a tool to maintain financial security.

However, there is the inability of the digital renminbi to stop illegal financial activities that plaques cryptocurrency and this has been a source of concern regarding the use of the digital Yuan. The Chinese authorities have also revealed that the Central Bank has uncovered several gray and black industries that are using the digital renminbi for illicit activities. This has resulted in a huge loss of millions of digital Yuan.

By Edward Harris
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