Customs officials in Hong Kong say they have dismantled a money laundering group which used cryptocurrency Tether to process HK$1.2bn ($154m, €131m) in illegal funds.

Four people, including the alleged local mastermind, have been arrested, the first ever made in the territory where cryptocurrency was used to conceal the source of criminal assets, senior superintendent of police Mark Woo Wai-Kwan was quoted as saying in media reports.

Authorities allege nearly 60% of the funds were channelled via bank accounts in Singapore during the past 15 months. The gang is said to have set up shell companies and used around 40 e-wallet accounts.

The police operation was known as Coin Breaker.

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