Met police seize crypto worth $250 million in a fresh money laundering investigation

Met police seize the largest crypto in UK history after previously confiscating £114 million ($158 million).
A 39-year-old woman is under investigation after the police received information from an unidentified person.

The UK has over the past few years taken stringent measures to put the use of crypto under control to offset its role in money laundering and terrorist financing. Just recently, the Met police seized around £114 million ($158 million) in cryptocurrency in what was termed as the largest ever seizure in the country’s history. Barely a month after, a record £180 million ($250 million) suspected to be proceeds of money laundering has been confiscated. 

According to a police report, detectives of the Met’s Economic Crime Command received information from an unidentified person about the transfer of criminal assets. Their investigation led them to a 39-year-old woman who was arrested on June 24 on suspicion of offences relating to money laundering. She was, however, released on bail as the investigation continues. This operation forms part of an ongoing investigation into international money laundering which has led to the seizure of a record amount of cryptocurrency totalling £294 million ($407 million). 

Emerging digital platforms contributing to increasing organized crimes

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty noted that the development of digital platforms has led to an increasing number of organized crimes using cryptocurrency as a tool to launder money, though cash is still used in the criminal world. 

The detectives on this case have worked tirelessly and meticulously to trace millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrency suspected of being linked to criminality and now being laundered to hide the trail. Those linked to this money are working hard to hide it. Our investigation will stop at nothing to disrupt the transfer and identify those involved.

He admitted that the crypto ecosystem was very difficult to deal with years ago. However, there are currently trained officers and specialist units working to stay ahead of those using crypto for illicit activities. 

Detective Constable Joe Ryan disclosed that the investigation will continue to ensure all involved were arrested and curb the activity. 

Less than a month ago we successfully seized £114million in cryptocurrency. Our investigation since then has been complex and wide-ranging. We have worked hard to trace this money and identify the criminality it may be linked to. Today’s seizure is another significant landmark in this investigation which will continue for months to come as we hone in on those at the center of this suspected money laundering operation.

The UK has taken a strict position on crypto by requiring crypto firms to register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to continue to operate within their jurisdiction. This is to help inform citizens on firms that are compliant with their laws, and also control the use of crypto for money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing. 

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