What just happened? British police have seized nearly $ 250 million (£ 180 million) in cryptocurrency as part of a money laundering investigation. The amount is a record high in the UK and considered to be one of the largest crypto foreclosures ever made in the world.
Metropolitan Police said the seizure was carried out by the Met’s Economic Crime Command. It comes weeks after confiscating $ 157.8 million worth of crypto. Both came as a result of intelligence received about the criminal asset transfer and are part of an ongoing international money laundering investigation.
The Met did not disclose the type of crypto it seized. According to Forbes, the digital currency in question was Bitcoin.
“As cash remains king in the criminal world, as digital platforms develop we are seeing more and more organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money,” said Graham McNulty, under -deputy commissioner of the metropolitan police.
A 39-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering offenses on June 24. She was released on bail and questioned on bail on July 10 as part of the latest crypto seizure and was released on bail until the end of July.
It is presumed that the value of the crypto is tied to when it was entered, when a Bitcoin was worth around $ 33,000. If the incident had taken place during BTC’s nearly $ 64,000 spike in mid-April, the total amount would have been worth almost double.
While $ 250 million is a lot of money, it is paltry compared to Bitcoin’s purported $ 3.6 billion caught in what appears to be the biggest cryptocurrency theft – or hack – in history. But some reports claim that this amount may have been much lower.