The Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) has confiscated 12 online accounts, wallets containing 6,000 bitcoin of a drug dealer who had €55 million (over $59.6 million) of his fortune in the digital currency but lost the keys to access his wallet after hiding them with his fishing rod, which has now gone missing, reported the Irish Times.
This also means, these €53.6 million worth of bitcoin are also out of the Cab’s reach, which has been apparently the biggest case in the Cab’s 25-year history. Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos said,
“Funny how people who create money by fiat think they can also seize it by fiat, even when it’s not fiat. “But we said we seized it. In writing and on official paper and everything! What do you mean it’s not seized?” Crypto: I respect your authority but I doubt your ability.”
However, trader Crypto Gainz says, even still,
“you know the amount of bitcoin and presumably the owner of the address(es) Now try it with monero. You wouldn’t even know the amount seized. It wouldn’t warrant a headline.”
Punishment of stupidity
The drug dealer Clifton Collins, 49, from Dublin, originally bought most of his bitcoin in late 2011 and early 2012 using cash that he made from growing crops of cannabis. In the last decade, Bitcoin’s value soared 9 million percent and is currently trading at $9,630.
In early 2017, during the last bull run, he had these over 6,000 BTC in one account but because it might be too easy for hackers to access, Collins spread it across 12 accounts, 500 Bitcoin worth €4.5 million in each wallet.
Collins printed out the code on a piece of paper and hid it inside the aluminum cap of his case containing his fishing rod which he kept at his rented home in Cornamona, Co Galway. But a burglary during the time he was arrested and jailed for possession of cannabis lost him his fishing rod and the codes to access his wallet. However, Collins has reportedly come to terms with the loss of the money and took it as a punishment for his own stupidity.
For now, Cab has been able to access only a small stash of Bitcoin valued at €1.5 million that he had in other accounts and seized them along with €100,000 in cash.
Garda officers are hopeful that advances in technology would allow them one day to access the bitcoin that they haven’t’ been able to so they could be sold.