British police seize $408 million worth of cryptocurrency used in money laundering by organized crime groups
The anonymity of cryptocurrency is one of the most appealing aspects for hackers, cybercriminals, and organized crime groups. Although, all cryptocurrencies promise some kind of privacy. However, as we learned last month after the FBI recovered the stolen bitcoins, none of the digital currencies except for Monero is anonymous.
The KYC regulation also makes it mandatory for crypto exchanges to reveal the identity of crypto owners to the government authorities. It is now easier than ever for law enforcement authorities to catch cybercriminals using cryptocurrencies for unlawful purposes.
Today, British police announced they have seized record hauls of cryptocurrency totaling $408 million (294 million pounds) as part of their investigation into money laundering after organized crime groups moved into cryptocurrencies to wash their dirty money, Reuters reported.
The announcement comes two months after UK police uncovered an illegal bitcoin mine during an industrial unit raid of a cannabis farm. The massive mine, which is located in an industrial unit on the outskirts of the English city of Birmingham, was stealing thousands of pounds worth of electricity from the mains supply
On Tuesday, London police said they had seized 180 million pounds of an undisclosed cryptocurrency less than three weeks after making a 114 million pounds haul on June 24 as part of a money-laundering investigation.
“While cash still remains king in the criminal world, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money,” said Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty.
Police also arrested a 39-year-old woman on suspicion of money laundering after the first haul was discovered and has been interviewed under caution over the 180 million pound discovery.
“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 center of this suspected money laundering operation,” said Detective Constable Joe Ryan.