In one of the largest law enforcement investigations in the world, the London Metropolitan Police confiscated approximately £ 180 million, or $ 249.7 million, of cryptocurrency .
This is the second major seizure in recent weeks after law enforcement officers confiscated £ 114 million, or $ 158 million, of cryptocurrency late last month .
Note that the facts of seizure of cryptocurrencies by law enforcement agencies happened before. In particular, the same was done by the US Marshals Service, who had at their disposal the bitcoins of the largest exchange Mt Gox after it was hacked.
Subsequently, the coins were sold at an auction, with billionaire Tim Draper becoming one of the major buyers of bitcoins. Then he acquired 29 656 BTC for $ 18.74 million. Thus, the average purchase price of an asset was $ 632. Accordingly, the peak of the Bitcoin exchange rate at $ 64,804, recorded on April 14, 2021, was more than a hundred times higher than the entry level for Draper’s position.
This is still happening in the cryptocurrency industry. Moreover, the scale of confiscation is only growing.
Who confiscates cryptocurrencies
The seizures were carried out by the Metropolitan Economic Crimes Department and are part of an ongoing investigation into an international money-laundering scheme, police said. Police Detective Constable Joe Ryan described the investigation as “complex and large-scale,” Decrypt reported. He also added that the case “will continue for several months while the interrogation of many suspects on it is underway. “
According to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, just a few years ago, the cryptocurrency industry was “uncharted territory . ” However, at present, law enforcement agencies “have highly trained officers and specialized units working diligently in this area to stay one step ahead of those who use digital assets for illegal purposes . “
But the crypt itself seems to be considered illegal in India: at least this is the impression that may arise due to the relationship of the local financial supervisory authorities with Bitcoin. One of the largest banks in the country called ICICI Bank on the eve warned users against money transactions to transfer digital assets. The bank’s actions are governed by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999, which is funny enough.
Recall that the Bitcoin network started working in January 2009, that is, the cryptocurrency appeared ten years after the document was released. It is obvious that using it to regulate what is happening in the country’s financial sector is at least an ineffective solution.
In addition, the bank does not want to support investment operations in companies that promote cryptocurrencies. Users were also warned not to send any funds that may have been obtained from cryptocurrency investments in the past. However, the legal status of digital assets in India is still unclear, which greatly inhibits the adoption of Bitcoin in the country.
Recall that the relationship of the authorities to the crypt in India is not easy. In the spring, they announced their desire to completely ban the work with digital assets in the country. However, at the end of May, representatives of the Reserve Bank of India issued a decree that required other banks not to set up their own clients against interacting with digital assets. Why this happens again is unknown.
We believe that the fact of the seizure of cryptocurrencies by British law enforcement agencies is much more positive than it might seem. Thanks to him, fraudsters and criminals will once again be able to clearly see that digital blockchain assets are not a universal way of evading responsibility for their illegal actions. Accordingly, it is inconvenient to use them, as former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell once said. In the end, all this should have a good effect on the reputation of cryptocurrencies, which some still consider only a tool for scammers.