Metropolitan Police Seize Record-Breaking Haul Of Cryptocurrency
Police in London have seized almost £180 million worth of cryptocurrency in what they say is the biggest crypto haul ever made in the UK.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed the bust on Tuesday, July 13, with a spokesperson revealing that they moved to confiscate the virtual stash after receiving intelligence related to plans to transfer ‘criminal assets’ over the recent weekend.
The seizure was led by the Met’s Economic Crime Command, and is understood to not only be the largest national cryptocurrency bust, but also one of the largest amounts ever seized globally.
A top official in the Met said that the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin was providing new opportunities for criminals, but added that specialist police were working hard to stay ‘one step ahead’.
Graham McNulty, assistant deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said in a statement:
While cash still remains king in the criminal word, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money.
Whilst some years ago this was fairly unchartered territory, we now have highly trained officers and specialist units working hard in this space to remain one step ahead of those using it for illicit gain.
The discovery breaks a record that was set less than a month ago, when £114 million worth of cryptocurrency was also seized by the Met. In that case, a 39-year-old woman was arrested on money laundering offences.
No arrests have been made in relation to this latest haul, but CNBC reports that the woman involved in the first case was interviewed in connection with this week’s bust.
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