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UK police seize $249.5 million worth of cryptocurrency

UK police seize $249.5 million worth of cryptocurrency

The British police on Tuesday said they have seized £180 million ($249.5 million) of an undisclosed cryptocurrency, as part of a money laundering investigation launched against organised crime groups that moved into cryptocurrencies in order to clean their money.

The latest seizure happened in less than three weeks after the London police made a £114 million haul on June 24 as part of its money laundering investigation.

By this, a cryptocurrency payload totalling £294 million ($408 million) has been reportedly seized so far under the money laundering investigation.

“While cash still remains king in the criminal world, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organised criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money,” Reuters quoted Graham McNulty, a metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner, to have said.

After the first haul was discovered, a 39-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and has been interviewed under caution over the £180 million discovery, according to the report.

Joe Ryan, a Detective Constable, said; “Today’s seizure is another significant landmark in this investigation which will continue for months to come as we hone in on those at the centre of this suspected money laundering operation.”

Due to cryptocurrencies anonymous mode of transactions, the world’s biggest criminal groups seems to have made it a convenient and global nature for laundering money, thus, placing them a step ahead of the police, tax and security forces.

Many countries are yet to come up with effective and efficient means of regulating the cryptocurrency space conceived to be a money laundering den and a tool for terrorists.

In the past weeks and months, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has faced significant criticism and market sentiments across the globe that has greatly influenced the market price of the currency.

The unusual price swings of Bitcoin, noticed since the beginning of the year, have also prompted critics to suggest it is not suitable to be an effective and sustainable currency for adoption as a fiat.

The price of Bitcoin, world’s most popular cryptocurrency, has slumped by 48.79 per cent in the past 3 months after touching an all-time-high of $64,863.10 on April 14.

In the past seven days, Bitcoin has touched a low of $32,133.18 and oscillated to a high of $35,038.54 within this period, before settling at $33,227.83 as of Tuesday 09:55 AM Nigerian time.

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