Barely three weeks after reports that UK authorities conducted the largest crypto seizure in history where they confiscated $190m in crypto, Met has conducted another seizure more than the previous one.
In the recent mega crypto seizure by the UK authorities, Met seized nearly $249.7 million worth of cryptocurrencies marking as the second mega seizure in less than a month. The amount of crypto seized during both operations is now around $408 million
Met announced the recent crypto seizure on Tuesday in a statement they published noting the operation was carried by the Met’s Economic Crime Command and the operation is part of an ongoing investigation into international money laundering.
A detective of the Met police, Detective Constable Joe Ryan said the investigation is complex and wide-ranging and stated that it will continue for months to come.
Despite huge crypto seizure, cash remains king in criminal word
The Met acknowledged that amidst the huge crypto seized by the UK authorities in recent times, cash remains the largest tool used by launderers to commit financial crime. “cash still remains king in the criminal world,” Met said.
They also note, however, that development in digital platforms has continued to aid organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said that years back, crypto was fairly unchartered territory, but now, Met has highly trained officers and specialist units working hard in this space to remain one step ahead of those using it for illicit gain.
Similarly, the UK has expressed worry over the increased adoption of cryptos and technology advancement in the field over how easy it can be used to launder money.
Beyond UK, authorities elsewhere seize crypto
The business of crypto seizure has been happening elsewhere also as cybercriminals operate globally.
South Korea also engaged in a mega crypto seizure recently when they seized over $47 million in crypto from 12,000 people accused of tax evasion, the Financial Times reported.
The seizures are part of a months-long probe, which according to officials, is the largest “cryptocurrency seizure for back taxes in Korean history.”
Authorities disclosed that Local exchanges that did not collect resident registration numbers of account holders were used to conceal assets. They then used mobile phone numbers to track down the alleged tax evaders. They included a “renowned home-shopping channel show host” who owed over $17,000 in tax and held $440,000 worth of crypto.