French police arrest 29 in anti-terror Syria financing sting

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French police on Tuesday arrested 29 people in a sting operation targeting a network of terror financing for extremists in Syria, prosecutors said.

The network, active since 2019, mostly operated via the purchase of crypto-currency coupons whose references were given to extremist contacts in Syria and then credited to bitcoin accounts, the anti-terror prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

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This way to transfer funds marks a departure from previous methods identified by France’s anti-terror financing and money laundering services, which mostly involved cash mandates, it said.

“Constant surveillance of these networks prompted terrorist organizations to seek more opacity by using crypto-currencies such as bitcoin,” the statement said.

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