Bitcoin.com has reported that the government of Venezuela brought an end to two cryptocurrency exchanges, Rapidcambio and AirTM. Tarek William Saab, Venezuelan politician and lawyer, explained that these two exchanges along with Intercash were dismantled in “Operation Paper Hands”.
Operation Paper Hands is the largest anti-litigation procedure in the country’s history. So far 112 people have been arrested, of whom 107 have already been brought to court.
Venezuela is looking for remittance companies that have “incurred misappropriation, [and] dissemination of false information about the exchange rate.” Following this news, 1,382 bank accounts holding around US$10.6 million were frozen. The Public Ministry of Venezuela also “requested the blockade of 247 bank accounts, 40 new arrest warrants, and 104 raids.”
A journalist from Venezuela tweeted, “Intercash, RapidCambio and AirTM were listed as “organized crime structures and money laundering” during the operation. All the premises related to these companies were raided.” While AirTM continues to operate normally, Rapidcambio has issued a statement regarding the subject on the official website.
Unfortunately we are in the need to close our operations indefinitely due to the unjust persecution of the exchange houses in Venezuela by the National Government. RapidCambio is a company that has always demonstrated its responsibility, honesty, seriousness and a true commitment to provide [its] service to all Venezuelans who are abroad … We want to emphasize that our company has never set or intended to fix market prices, our exchange rates have always been given by the law of supply and demand, as a free market without any imposition.
Saab explained that these exchanges keep their earnings in international bank accounts, which is why the cash they receive is “converted at a high and unreal exchange rate” in Venezuela. Since, they are considered criminals, Saab said, “I have spoken with the President of the Republic to create new detention centers for these criminals.”
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