To Combat Crime, UK Authorities Seized $335 Million in Crypto

  • UK’s law enforcement agencies have confiscated $335 million worth of crypto.
  • Most of the cryptocurrency seized was Bitcoin.

Regulators and legislators in the United Kingdom are becoming worried about the illicit usage of cryptocurrencies in the country. Over the last five years, the UK’s law enforcement agencies have confiscated $335 million worth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

According to New Scientist’s FOI requests, twelve of the UK’s 48 police forces seized almost £322 million worth of cryptocurrencies. However, 15 troops either did nothing or refused to provide intelligence. Most of the cryptocurrency seized was Bitcoin, with Ethereum and other privacy currencies like Monero, Dash, and Zcash rounding out the rest (a total of little over 0.1 percent).

London’s Metropolitan Police took up £294 million ($398 million) in seizures, making up the majority of the haul. Greater Manchester Police seized £25 million ($34 million) throughout the five years covered by the requests, while Dyfed-Powys Police took £2.4 million ($3.2 million).

The Metropolitan Police conducted two record-breaking cryptocurrency seizures in 2021: in June 2021, it seized £114 million (then worth $158 million), then only weeks later, it confiscated £180 million (nearly $250 million).

Measures Taken To Curb Criminal Use of Cryptocurrency

The National Crime Agency (NCA) in the United Kingdom seized over half a million pounds from a British Silk Road administrator in November. The FCA declared in March 2021 that crypto organizations must submit yearly financial crime reports.

The Proceeds of Crime Act presently classifies bitcoin as property, not cash; therefore, seizing it is challenging. Due to worries about money laundering, banks have blocked crypto exchanges, capped transactions, or increased monitoring of payments to and from crypto firms.

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