British police have confiscated near £180 million — or $249 million — in cryptocurrency, the most important such seizure within the nation’s historical past, CNN reported on Tuesday (July 13).
Actually, it may be one of many massive confiscations on the planet, London’s Metropolitan Police stated, coming weeks after an identical seizure of £114 million ($158 million) final month.
“The seizures have been made by the power’s financial crime command, after pursuing intelligence obtained concerning the switch of legal belongings,” the report famous. “The seizures shaped a part of an ongoing investigation into worldwide cash laundering.”
It was not clear what sort of cryptocurrency was concerned.
One particular person has been arrested in reference to the case, police stated, a 39-year-old girl questioned on suspicion of cash laundering offenses. She has since been launched on bail.
“Proceeds of crime are laundered in many various methods,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty stated in a press release. “Whereas money nonetheless stays king within the legal world, as digital platforms develop, we’re more and more seeing organized criminals utilizing cryptocurrency to launder their soiled cash.”
Earlier this yr, the Crown Prosecution Service — England’s and Wales’ chief legal investigation company — warned of an impending uptick in prosecutions involving cryptocurrency-related scams. “While schemes utilizing excessive funding returns have been used for many years, I feel we are going to see rising numbers,” Crown Prosecution Service Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill stated on the time. “Circumstances coming in are in low numbers now, however my prediction is they are going to enhance.”
Motion Fraud, England’s fraud-reporting operation, recorded 5,581 crypto-related scams in 2020, a 57 % rise over the prior yr. Losses related to these scams totaled $156 million.
In the meantime, regulation enforcement officers in America have expressed issues about using cryptocurrency in ransomware attacks like those on the Colonial fuel pipeline and the JBS meatpacking firm.