UK Financial Watchdog Shuts Down 26 ATMs to Address Illegal Crypto Activity

In a well-coordinated regulatory action, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) collaborated with other enforcement units to combat money laundering and illegal crypto activities in the United Kingdom. The exercise involved visiting the local crypto ATM to examine whether their operation conforms to UK regulations.

A report captured by a UK local news site revealed that the FCA visited around 34 ATMs from January. During their visits, the FCA team observed that 26 out of 34 ATMs failed to comply with the licensing requirements.

Guided by UK law, the FCA ordered the closure of the 26 crypto ATMs to stop illegal crypto activities.

Strategies Implemented by FCA to Address Money Laundering

In February, the FCA issued a notice to the local ATM urging them to comply with the regulation entirely. In the FCA ultimatum, the market regulators outlined the legal action noncompliant firms will face.

Afterward, other enforcement units teamed up with the FCA to probe the operation of 34 ATMs. The investigations aimed at ensuring that the ATMs meet the global anti-money laundering standards.

Earlier, the FCA had announced that operating a crypto ATM without completing the necessary registration process was illegal. In a tweet, the FCA team revealed plans to take potential action against crypto ATMs engaging in unlawful activities.

An announcement by FCA official Steve Smart demonstrated that the unlicensed ATM facilitated money laundering activities. The executive mentioned that the UK government will not take any legal action or protective measures to safeguard users engaging in illegal crypto activities. Smart argued that illegal ATMs have been handing customers’ money to criminals.

How Will FCA Ensure Crypto ATMs are Licensed?

Notably, the FCA investigation was conducted in phases. Between May and June, the FCA probed around 18 ATMs.

During this exercise, in collaboration with other enforcement agencies, the FCA ensured that crypto exchanges and ATMs in the region registered with the FCA. The completed inspection by the market regulators examined whether the trading platforms and ATMs met the money laundering requirements.

On July 8, the Clive Police Department issued a report revealing the rise of crypto scam activity in the UK. The police report captured an incident where a scammer contacted a crypto entrepreneur. The scammer claimed to work as a law enforcement officer and issued an arrest warrant to the victim.

The police reported that the scammer stole around $6000 through a crypto ATM. The Clive enforcement unit stated that the scammers use fear approach to lure the public into their trap.

Most reported cases involve impersonating law enforcer details to deceive customers into transferring their hard-earned assets. The Clive Police Department informed the public that the law enforcement unit does not demand payment.

Editorial credit: Mehaniq /

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