The United Nations (UN) has warned about the increasing use of Tether’s USDT stablecoin for money laundering and scams in Southeast Asia. In a report, the UN expressed concerns about the prominent role that USDT has played in illegal activities, particularly in the region.
According to the UN report, online gambling platforms, especially those operating without proper authorization, have become hotspots for cryptocurrency-based money laundering activities. Tether’s USDT has emerged as a preferred choice for money launderers in this context.
This revelation underscores the need for heightened scrutiny of cryptocurrency transactions in the gaming industry, as illicit funds often flow through these platforms.
The UN’s report also highlighted the use of Tether’s stablecoin in underground fraud schemes, including the infamous “pig butchering” scams.
These romantic scams involve perpetrators deceiving victims and extracting money under pretenses. Tether’s involvement in such illicit activities has been a matter of concern, and the recent UN report further highlights the extent of its misuse.
Tether’s collaboration with the US Department of Justice
In November, Tether made headlines when it revealed its collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice in freezing approximately $225 million worth of USDT. These funds were linked to an international human trafficking group operating in Southeast Asia, responsible for the aforementioned pig-butchering scam.
Tether’s proactive involvement in assisting law enforcement agencies in such cases underscores its commitment to combating illicit activities associated with its stablecoin.
Disruption of money laundering networks
The UN report also detailed various instances where law enforcement agencies have successfully disrupted money laundering networks involved in transferring illicit Tether funds.
One notable case occurred in August, when Singaporean authorities carried out an operation resulting in the dismantling a significant network. This operation led to the recovery of approximately $735 million in cash and cryptocurrency, highlighting the effectiveness of collaborative efforts in curbing illegal financial activities.