The Shanghai police recently cracked a money-laundering case worth 100 million yuan ($14.28million), in which the suspect invested a huge amount in an online live-streaming platform and got a certain percentage of his investment back from the anchors.
This new way of laundering money through online live-streaming entities, in which apart from the individuals, those providing accounts and assisting in the fund transfers are also involved, needs to be looked into. Those who knowingly assist in concealing, harboring, or transferring funds despite being aware that the funds and their proceeds are illegal gains should be charged with crimes.
Online live-streaming is a convenient source of money-laundering because it is difficult to trace the money flow. The platforms and anchors are lured by profits that can ensure the anchors high rankings. That’s why some anchors take extra pains to assist the suspects in laundering money.
All these are strong reasons for the police to take action. A health society cannot allow traditional crimes to enter the realm of internet and erode the foundations of cybersecurity, economic order, and social stability.
In recent years, thanks to sustained crackdowns, the space for money-laundering activities, both online and offline, has been shrinking. Yet, as online live-streaming becomes increasingly popular, it is important to stay vigilant to the possibility of the medium being abused by criminals.
It is expected that all parties involved, the police, the platform, and the anchors, fully recognize the new trends and challenges posed by the networked nature of traditional crimes. Online live-streaming and similar platforms should not become covert channels for illegal activities. It is essential to effectively safeguard the personal and national assets of citizens and maintain the normal functioning of the economy and society.