brazil harsher penalties

Brazil to adopt harsher penalties for crypto crimes with a new bill

In an official announcement on October 6, Brazil’s Special Committee of the Chamber of Deputies aims for stricter regulations against crypto-related crimes through a new bill. The new piece of legislation includes penalties enforcing longer prison time for those found guilty of money laundering via cryptocurrencies, along with a larger fine.

These recent regulatory amendments are part of the bill 2303/15, raising the penalty for money laundering from 33% to 66%. 

Individuals who get caught will be obliged to surrender two-thirds of the laundered money, as opposed to the previous law’s one-third requirement. In addition, the bill aims to lengthen the imprisonment period from 4 years to 16 years and 8 months.

According to the announcement, the proposal will be further discussed by the Plenary Session of the Brazilian Parliament. 

Aureo Ribeiro, a federal deputy in Brazil, emphasized that the proposed bill will aid the country in protecting its citizens from crypto pyramid schemes. This was after the country has suffered multiple financial crimes using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the past few years.

In August, Brazilian Federal Police seized approximately USD$28,000,000 worth of Bitcoin from reported Ponzi schemes in Rio de Janeiro, arresting five individuals involved in the plan called ‘Operation Kryptos’. Around USD$2,600,000 in cash and other luxury items were recovered in connection with the scheme. 

However, the worst scam to have happened so far in Brazil was the Bitcoin Banco group, whose leader named Claudio Oliveira was arrested for USD$300,000,000 crypto fraud. More than 20,000 investors were affected by the firm’s malpractice.

‘With the lack of regulation, people have nowhere to turn. The market will advance and adjust in Brazil. There will no longer be profiteers using technology to deceive millions of Brazilians,’ Ribeiro said. 

Despite the intensified crackdown on crypto money laundering, Ribeiro remains optimistic about other parts of the new bill. It also aims to regulate cryptocurrency transactions such as fiat exchanges, trading and custody. 

Moreover, he stated that Bitcoin will be accepted as a payment method once the bill is passed into law, according to a report by Cointelegraph Brasil.

‘We want to separate the wheat from the chaff, create regulations so that you can trade, know where you are buying, know who you are dealing with, and have this asset to buy a house, a car, go to McDonald’s to buy a hamburger, it will be a currency in the country as it happens in other countries,’ he explained.

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