Cryptocurrency has been growing in popularity in the recent years and has shown, along with the blockchain technology, its ability to revolutionize and change dozens of industries for the better. However, it has also greatly helped individuals commit illegal and criminal activities. Cases of fraud, purchasing and selling of drugs, terrorism funding and more have been emerging in the recent years. A new affair involving digital currencies has now surfaced in France.
A French police officer of the DGSI section, the special intelligence forces for the country’s security, has been accused and arrested for allegedly selling confidential information and receiving bitcoin in exchange. It is suspected that he sold the information on the dark web in exchange for the digital currency. The police officer was apparently in contact with members of an organized crime group and “economic intelligence specialists”, according to French online newspaper Le Monde. He also was a member of a “sensible section” of the DGSI, meaning he was holding a high position. As the investigation continues, it is for now still unclear how the police officer managed to get these documents out. For now, the incident is not considered linked to terrorism by the French police.
The police officer was found because of his login information and passwords. The DGSI services were able to identify him by searching through the documents that had been recently looked at on the internal network of the security agency. The organized crime group was also found and dismantled.
This brings negative attention and publicity to bitcoin and virtual currencies in general once again. It unfortunately reinforces the idea that it does facilitate criminal activities and allows people with bad intentions to obtain money in exchange for their acts. Will this change the opinion of the French government on cryptocurrencies? Will we see more efforts by lawmakers to fight illegal activities carried out with digital assets in the future?
TLDR: A French police officer was found guilty of selling confidential information and classified documents to an organized crime group on the dark web. He received bitcoin in exchange for the documents.