CRIMINALS could be laundering their money through cryptocurrency cash machines, the Metropolitan Police has said.

Scotland Yard has warned that illegal cash could be deposited into the machines, which converts the money into digital currency such as Bitcoin.

Detective Superintendent Nick Stevens, of the Met’s Serious and Organised Crime Command, said they have identified the use of cryptocurrency in criminal gangs and are working to combat the threat.

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“Cryptocurrencies are not illegal, but they are unregulated, decentralised currencies that can be quickly transferred across borders and then converted into the currency of the country where the funds are received,” he said.

“Organised criminal groups have been early adopters of cryptocurrencies to evade traditional money laundering checks and statutory regulations.

“Criminals have also used cryptocurrencies to purchase illegal commodities on dark market sites with anonymity.”

It is believed there are 91 cryptocurrency ATMs across the UK, the Met said.

The machines allow cash to be moved around and across borders without being traced.