January 17, 2024

UNODC Warns of Tether’s USDT in Funding Gangs in SE Asia



A recent report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has revealed that Tether’s USDT stablecoin is being used extensively by criminal gangs in Southeast Asia.

According to the report seen by the Financial Times, USDT is being used for money laundering and to operate illegal online gambling platforms. The stablecoin has become a key tool for these criminal organizations in the region.

“Online gambling platforms, especially those operating illegally, have emerged as among the most popular vehicles for cryptocurrency-based money launderers, particularly for those using Tether,” The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime noted.

The UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime has reported a significant increase in the use of USDT, a stablecoin, in high-speed money laundering by criminal groups in recent years.

While the exact level of USDT’s involvement in illegal activities is not disclosed, there have been instances of money laundering syndicates in Myanmar and Cambodia using USDT to exchange “black” tokens for cash.

Despite this, Tether, the issuer of USDT, has expressed its commitment to collaborating with regulatory authorities and law enforcement in the US to combat illicit crypto transactions.

In December 2023, Tether shared relevant information with members of the US House Financial Services Committee and the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. According to data from Dune Analytics, Tether has banned over 1,260 addresses associated with illicit activities, with the total value of USDT in banned wallets exceeding $875 million so far.

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