After a tip-off, Scotland Yard was able to seize £114 million in Bitcoin from a suspect’s account yesterday. The crypto assets are thought to be part of a money laundering scheme, and makes the seizure one of the largest in the world to date.
Detectives from the Economic Crime Command carried out the operation yesterday. The details of which are being kept under wraps until officers can trace all responsible parties.
The amount of Bitcoin seized has a value of more than 20 times what the force has taken from criminals so far this year, and is said to have stunned detectives on the investigation.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty commented on the seizure:
“Every single part of the Met is working to reduce violence on the streets of London as an absolute priority, this includes our financial investigators.
There is an inherent link between money and violence.”
According to Microsoft News:
“The cryptocurrency has proved popular with criminals to buy drugs and guns as it can be traded anonymously and is unregulated.”
However, an article on Bitcoin Magazine states that:
“Bitcoin is not entirely anonymous. In reality, it is pseudonymous because each user has a public address that theoretically could be traced back to an IP address or exchange account (and by proxy, an actual identity) through proper network analysis.”
One expert stated the following:
“Bitcoin is a criminal’s worst nightmare for hiding money, especially if they are trying to convert to the US Dollar or other fiat currencies. Every bitcoin transaction is recorded on the blockchain and will remain there forever. This transparency makes it a very ineffective method for criminals to hide their money.”
It is reported that police seizures of cryptocurrencies are growing in recent times, perhaps due to criminal’s imperfect understanding of their choice of currency. Surry police captured £1.2 million in bitcoin from a gang in 2019.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.