Organized crime in Sweden used Spotify and Bitcoin to launder money

Criminal gangs behind attacks and shootings in Sweden in recent years have been using fake Spotify streams to launder money. This information came to light last Tuesday by a Swedish newspaper.

According to an investigative report published in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, criminal networks have been using money from organized crime to pay for fake Spotify streams for several years. These streams were used to listen to songs published by artists linked to the bands in infinite loops. Thus, when they were heard, the platform paid them for the high number of streams, thus laundering the money.

They have found a way to launder money with Spotify

The newspaper states that the information has been confirmed by four members of different criminal networks in Stockholm. The information has also been provided by a police investigator who has decided to remain anonymous.

A member of one of the organized crime gangs said that His band began using Spotify for money laundering in 2019, when Swedish gangster rap became popular in the country and began winning music awards. He further claims that they have paid people who have systematically done this for them.

spotify logo scaled

Describing the process, he said the gangs converted their dirty cash into Bitcoin. Later, they used the cryptocurrency to pay people who sold fake streams on Spotify, an activity of a Swedish company. They made sure they ended up at the top of the charts, causing an increase in actual streams, making them more money than they originally expected.

According to the Swedish newspaper, for accumulating one million streams between 40.000 and 60.000 crowns are paid, about 3.350 and 5.000 euros at the current exchange rate. The anonymous investigative police contacted Spotify in 2021 about the matter, but Spotify never responded

Spotify told AFP in a statement that the manipulated streams “were a challenge for the entire industry and Spotify has been working hard to address this problem“. They came to the conclusion of less than 1% of all streams on Spotify are artificial and these are quickly mitigated before any payment.

Source: The Guardian

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Benjamin Rosa

Madrileño whose publishing career began in 2009. I love investigating curiosities that I later bring to you, readers, in articles. I studied photography, a skill that I use to create humorous photomontages.

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