Israeli authorities have nabbed three suspects who allegedly defrauded the French state treasury. The suspects are currently being questioned over a high-profile, multi-million euro cryptocurrency money laundering scheme that was carried out against the French state treasury.


The investigation leading to their arrest was carried out by the Israel Tax Authority and the Israel Police over the past few months. Foreign investigative agencies like the Europol and the French police also cooperated in the investigations which have led to the arrest of the three suspects. According to Reuters, the investigators were looking into a high-profile, large-scale fraud that was committed against the French state treasury. However, it is reported that the crime might have been committed in Israel.


Authorities suspect that the criminals laundered the stolen funds by converting them to crypto assets. The amount that was stolen is rumoured to run into millions and an estimated figure is tens of millions of shekels. Also, the profits that were made on the clandestine crypto activity may have reportedly been hidden from Israel’s tax authority.


Under Israel’s tax rules, any profits made from any cryptocurrency transactions are subject to capital tax gains of up to 33%. If the activity amounts to business income tax, the tax rate may go as high as 50%.


In a joint statement, the authorities said “Several suspects organized themselves in an orderly and systematic way to launder money from abroad and from Israel, some of which originated from crimes committed abroad, using digital currencies on various platforms with the aim of disguising the identity of the owners of the funds and their movements.”


Several other suspects have been detained along with the three main suspects for questioning on suspicions of committing fraud, money laundering, tax offenses and the willful omission of income.


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