Criminal Assets Bureau Confiscates Over 6,000 Bitcoin But Unable to Sell Them

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.

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Author: AnTy

Russia Outlines Plan to Allow for Confiscation of Cryptocurrencies by the End of 2021

The Russian government is considering enforcing a law to curtail the use of digital assets for criminal activities, local financial news outlet RBC reported on November 7.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, along with other relevant authorities, plan to roll out a legal mechanism that would allow seizure of virtual assets for confiscation by December 31, 2021. This would give police the power to confiscate any user’s bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

The plan comes in the wake of rising crypto-related illegal activities in the country.

Alena Zelenovskaya, head of criminal and administrative law practice at NSA Amuleks said,

“The trend of a constant increase in the number of crimes using virtual assets, the insecurity of individuals from this type of criminal encroachment, of course, dictate the need to develop mechanisms for legal regulation and control over the circulation of virtual assets.”

As per the new proposal, confiscation of virtual assets will be made possible only by the order of the court. Despite the resolve, how will authorities confiscate something that is completely decentralized is not clear.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency holders either store assets in a wallet or on a crypto exchange. Government will face trouble accessing the crypto wallet because each comes with a private digital key. This means that only the owner of the wallet has the password to unlock it. Additionally, the government will need to prove that the crypto wallet, which is completely anonymous, belongs to the said person.

If the assets are stored on a crypto exchange, the government will be able to block an account only if the exchange complies. Exchanges that operate outside Russian jurisdiction will be free to ignore any such requests.

That aside, for the confiscations to work, the Russian legal system will need to recognize crypto-assets as either commodities or an equivalent to cash. This would mean giving a legal status to crypto which might face heavy resistance from the Bank of Russia.

Though right now it might seem impossible to control something as ‘un-confiscatable’ as crypto, it would be interesting to note how the proposal shapes up and what it does to the backlash against bitcoin in several other countries.

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Author: Sakshi Jain

Australian Federal Police Take Hold of Artillery Dealer’s Bitcoin, Flip into Major Profits

Drug cartels and other criminal activities are mostly associated with Bitcoin trading. This is to raise funds to enhance their criminal activities. In the event, however, when the police confiscate $BTC from these illegal activities, where do they go? In Australia, for instance, it’s has been disclosed that in one scenario, the police collected a 20-fold gain.

According to the publication shared in the Australian Federal Police Yearly Report, in 2016, officials initiated legal action to capture USD 5,000. The amount is equivalent to AUD 7,300. By the time the authorities were able to net this amount, the value had rocketed AUD 154,000, which equals USD 105,000. The total amount is a 2,000% increase.

The instance began in 2016 when the Australian officials arrested an individual believed to be in charge of three firearms in the country. The individual received payments in Bitcoin according to the AFP report. The Bitcoin was seized the moment the individual was apprehended.

It took up to ten months to access the Bitcoin when the suspect finally agreed to sanction the coins. This came after a tense lawsuit action. During the time, the value had increased 20 times the average value.

The amount was deposited into the Commonwealth’s Seized Assets Account according to AFP reports. The funds are returned to the community for fighting and preventing crime.

This was the first time AFP had prevented Bitcoin as part of Criminal inspection. The move might have triggered their attentiveness in cryptocurrency.

With that in mind, it’s not easy for other confiscated assets to appreciate in value during legal proceedings. Jewelry, vehicles, real estate, and artwork could all be stopped. Few will have their value rise as quickly as Bitcoin, but the rest until the windfall.

Apprehending assets from criminals, especially cryptocurrency, shouldn’t always be about making money, but in this case it is. So,official’s should examine the markets to ensure it has equal representation of what is primarily netted.

In another scenario, the police in the UK sold seized Bitcoin way beyond market rates. It raised $369,000.

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Author: Ali Qamar

Family Members See Jail Time for Using Bitcoin on the Dark Web to Sell Drugs

A criminal case involving a father, his daughter, Bitcoin and drugs happened recently. Brittany Nicole Green and Gregory Green were both sentenced to jail recently in the state of Montana for using Bitcoin to create a drug ring on the dark web. While Brittany was sentenced to five years, her father Gregory will spend three years in jail.

Between 2017 and 2018, the father and daughter duo sold drugs via the dark web, received the money in Bitcoin and shipped them through the mail to other cities.

When the authorities finally raided the home of the criminals, they discovered “a supermarket of drugs” that contained methamphetamines, Xanax and other drugs such as Carfentanil.

The duo have been watched and investigated since December of 2018 when customs intercepted a package containing Xanax from Canada that was sent to Green. According to the U. S. Assistant Attorney Bryan Dake, one of the most unique aspects of the case is that all drugs were received and sent via the mail. The Greens never actually had to leave their houses to run the operation.

Both parties admitted to drug possession and conspiracy to sell it, so they went for a plea deal. The judge of the case affirmed that the daughter’s role in the drug ring was more active, so she deserved a longer sentence than her father.

This is not the first time that someone used cryptocurrencies to sell drugs online. In fact, the popular dark web marketplace Silk Road was one of the most famous cases in which this happened and one of the main reasons why Bitcoin managed to get a bad rap among authorities.

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Author: James W

Bitcoin ATMs Expose Loopholes in EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Laws, Claims Spanish Police

Bitcoin ATMs Expose Loopholes in EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Laws, Claims Spanish Police

In an effort by Spanish law enforcement agencies to nail a criminal gang that has been utilizing Bitcoin ATMs to send about $10 million to drug dealers in Colombia and other nations, has exposed the glaring loopholes that exist in the EU’s anti-money laundering laws.

Bloomberg says that the rules and regulations designed to deal with money laundering in Europe do not include cash machines’ owners or to cryptocurrency trading platforms. This means that users at Spain’s 89 Bitcoin cash machines do not need to be properly identified to make transactions.

Citing an anonymous official from Guard Civil (a law enforcement agency in Spain), Bloomberg alleges that the criminal gang was able to hire two Bitcoin ATMs from trading platforms and installed them in an office complex in Madrid. claimed to be running a remittance and cryptocurrency trading centre, meaning large money transfers used to top up the machines with bitcoin went unnoticed.

The police claims that the two ATMs were crucial in transferring about $10 million to the drug kingpins in Colombia. The police also confiscated the two Bitcoin virtual machines, four cold wallets as well as 20 online wallets.

Prosecution Becoming Difficult

According to the anonymous police official, prosecuting the case is driving them to uncharted waters and is becoming difficult. The police are trying to prove the linkage between the two virtual machines and the digital assets seized and the task has been complicated by lack of clear guidelines or policy in regard to Bitcoin’s legal status in Spain.

However, over the last one week, the Supreme Court in Spain gave its first crypto-related case. The ruling indicated that Bitcoin is not a legal electronic money but is an asset. The police in the country welcomed the ruling saying that it was a starting point on definition of Bitcoin.

Although the number of Bitcoin ATMs have soared across the world, they have also faced numerous challenges from authorities. For instance, the city of Vancouver, Canada is contemplating banning Bitcoin ATMs due to high cases of money laundering in the city. Similarly, police in Australia have issued strong warnings to citizens that Bitcoin ATMs are a source of fraud cases in the country. India has banned any installation of the virtual machines in the country and even arrested individuals who attempted to introduce the virtual machines in the country.

On the positive note, Cointelegraph reports that Canadian exchange Coinsquare has invented a software which will enable conventional ATMs to sell cryptocurrencies around the world.

The EU is set to enforce new anti-money laundering legislation next year where cryptocurrency exchanges and custodians of online wallets will be monitored by new EU regulations. However, these do not extend to cryptocurrency ATMs and authorities fear this will allow sophisticated dealers to continue exploiting Bitcoin ATM and to slip under the radar.

Should Bitcoin ATMs be included in anti-money laundering regulations to reduce fraud and laundering cases? Let us know in the comments section.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

German Police Bust Largest Dark Web Store ‘Chemical Revolution’ Where Users Paid Bitcoin for Drugs

German-Police-Bust-Largest-Dark-Web-Store-Chemical-Revolution-Where-Users-Paid-Bitcoin-for-Drugs

The Police in Germany on June 28 raided an organized criminal syndicate, Chemical Revolution, a dark marketplace that allows its teeming customers to purchase all manner of drugs with Bitcoin.

The latest development by the authorities in Germany was contained in a press release issued by the office of the Federal Criminal Police Office. The authorities have officially arrested 11 suspects in connection with the case.

Bitcoin Criminal Gang

The police also shut and seized the site’s servers, so as to get relevant information to nail the suspected culprits. The French police also supported their German counterparts in fighting this new menace that is threatening to sweep over all European countries.

Although authorities have been on this case for a long time, the investigation took a dramatic turn when a 26 years old German national from Brandenburg was arrested in spring last year. Upon his arrest, the police found some incriminating objects from him, some of which includes 50 Kilograms of amphetamine, 16 Kilograms of cannabis, 2 Kilograms of MDMA, 600m grams of heroin, and a high number of ecstasy tablets and the LSD trips.

Crypto Aided Drugs In Europe

The arrest of the suspect on May 28 has led to so many other arrests, as the suspect is cooperating fully with the police, his statement so far is helping the police in the course of their investigation.

Also arrested was 43-year-old Dutch national on February 13, while he was handing over 14 Kilograms worth of various drugs to customers in Hamburg. The drugs in his possession were said to be procured from the Netherlands but carefully transported to Germany, from where it will be sold to their eager customers.

A man who specializes in the transport of the drugs from their base to Germany was also arrested and currently cooling his heels with the police.

The crackdown on dark websites and marketplace in Germany took a new turn when the German authorities sought the help of the Polish, Dutch, Spanish and French Police to fight the menace.

The cross country policing made it very hard for the criminals to escape and the result is the demolition of various sites and arrest of several criminals in Germany and Europe as a whole.

Cryptocurrency is now a force to reckon with in Europe, but the big names are still sceptical about the digital currency market, due to the high level of crime that’s associated with it and the ‘’prone to hacking’’ reputation it has gained in recent years.

Bitcoin Exchange Guide reported last month that the European Central Bank released a new paper on Cryptocurrency and financial stability on the continent.

The bank apex body subscribed to the view of the crypto space that the virtual currency is stable and does not pose any threat to financial stability in Europe.

But, if they are to be taken seriously, all manner of crypto-related crime must be flushed or reduced to its barest minimum.

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Author: Ogwu Emma