The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom issued a warning on March 11th, 2022 to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ATM (CATM) owners that all of their kiosks must be registered with FCA and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations (MLR). 

In a statement, the FCA claims that none of the crypto-asset firms registered with them have been approved to operate CATMs in the UK. Currently all CATMs are deemed “illegal” until they are registered. The FCA also advises all citizens to avoid CATMs until the owners comply.

Gidiplus is a CATM provider that has been operating in the UK since 2018. The company was ruled against by the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) because Gidiplus refused to register under the UK’s MLR regulations. The FCA determined that there was a “lack of evidence as to how Gidiplus would undertake its business in a broadly compliant fashion”.

The ruling references the FCA’s decision notice that was sent to Gidiplus in November of 2021. Gidiplus made an appeal to the Tribunal against their decision later on in December because no reason was given for halting operations. 

The FCA later stated that the reasons include:

  • The applicant (Gidiplus) failed to comply with the requirements set by MLR regulations.
  • Gidiplus’s business is considered a risk because their CATMs may be used for money laundering.
  • The possibility that the owner (Olumide Osunkoya) does not possess the adequate skills, experience, or probity for running the CATM business.

The FCA included Osunkoya’s questionable probity because in 2018 he was investigated for money laundering. Osunkoya admitted that he misled three banks about the nature of the CATM business. The first two banks were not informed about the CATM operations and Osunkoya told the third bank that Gidiplus was an events business.

For now, all operations of Gidiplus CATMs and other company CATMs in the UK are halted until further notice.

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