The UK’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that it seized £114 million in cryptocurrency — an amount worth about $158 million — as part of an ongoing criminal investigation in a money-laundering case. The Metropolitan Police said the operation “was carried out by detectives from the Met’s Economic Crime Command on the back of intelligence received about the transfer of criminal assets.” The operation is ongoing, according to the announcement.
Met have not yet released the type of cryptocurrency they have seized.
The Metropolitan police have not yet disclosed the type of cryptocurrency they have seized, but they did confirm that their Economic Crime Command team carried out the whole operation and that the seizure was related to money laundering crime. Earlier this month, it was reported that the UK Police is seeking additional powers to halt the transfer of cryptocurrency funds as part of its operations. The Times of London reported that Scotland Yard wants legislative changes to make it harder for criminals to make such transfers.
Criminals are moving to more sophisticated methods to launder funds.
“The conversations that we’re having is about how we align cryptocurrency to the same kind of approach that we have about cash-based criminality,” Mick Gallagher, a Met Police official, was quoted as saying. The Deputy Assistant Crime Commissioner said, “Cash remains king, but as technology and online platforms develop, some are moving to more sophisticated methods of laundering their profits.” Earlier, local police in the West Midlands had seized a bitcoin mining operation while hunting for suspected cannabis grow operation. Criminals are moving towards crypto launder funds from illicit activities as it makes it difficult for authorities to track back the users.