Spanish law enforcement officials claim that there are issues with European anti money laundering (AML) regulations after finding that bitcoin ATMs are being used by criminal organizations, according to Bloomberg.
The AML regulations, which were released in July 2018, are set to be executed next year by the European Commission. However, Europol and Spain’s Civil Guard discovered that cryptocurrency ATMs are not adequately covered by the new controls.
Last April, Spain’s Civil Guard shut down a drug operation where criminals obtained and installed two bitcoin ATMs in Madrid. The group claimed to be running a remittance and cryptocurrency trading center which allowed them to transfer large sums of money under the radar.
They arrested 11 people who were reportedly involved in using Bitcoin ATMs to exchange their cash for cryptocurrencies and transfer the funds to drug traffickers in Colombia. However, due to the lack of guidelines and crypto-specific regulations in European laws, Spanish officials are struggling to prove links between the bitcoin ATMs and the digital funds that were seized during the operation.
Spain first began to introduce bitcoin ATM’s in February 2014, with over 100 installations across the country.