French police question three over bitcoin website

Police were investigating the provision of online banking and gambling activities without the appropriate license

French police have questioned three people in connection with a Bitcoin exchange that, police say, handled 2,750 illicit transactions.

The Gendarmerie Nationale has dismantled a platform involved in the illicit exchange of bitcoins and uncovered 2,750 illicit transactions worth more than €1 million (US$1.36 million), the verified Twitter account of the Gendarmerie reported Monday.

It was the banking operations and the transactions performed by the accused that were illicit, not use of bitcoins, the Gendarmerie indicated.

In France, accepting regular currencies in order to facilitate the sale of bitcoins requires a license to operate payment services, the French Authority for Prudent Control and Resolution (ACPR) ruled in January. the ACPR is an independent regulator responsible for licensing banks and insurance companies.

The Gendarmerie did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the investigation, but a police spokesman told French news magazine Le Point that one of the people questioned was subsequently released.

The other two, the administrator of the website and one of its suppliers, remain subject to police restrictions, Le Point said.

The investigation concerned illegal banking operations, online gambling and clandestine working. Police seized 388 bitcoins during the investigation, the magazine reported.

At Monday's price those bitcoins would be worth around €180,000 (US$245,000).

The 2,750 illicit transactions were performed between November 2013 and July 2014, and involved at least 2,500 bitcoins, police told the magazine.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicese-commercelegalfinanceGendarmerie Nationaleindustry verticalsinternetcybercrime

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?