Sunday, November 28, 2021

U.K. met police seize $160m in cryptocurrency in money laundering probe

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About £114m of cryptocurrency has been seized by UK police as part of a money-laundering investigation.

The Metropolitan Police said the confiscation was the largest of its kind in the UK, and one of the largest in the world.

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Last year, US authorities said they had seized around $1bn (£718m) worth of Bitcoin connected to darknet market place the Silk Road, which was shut down in 2013.

The Met did not say which cryptocurrencies they seized, but revealed the operation was carried out by their Economic Crime Command team in connection with money-laundering offences.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said: “Every single part of the Met is working to reduce violence on the streets of London as an absolute priority, this includes our financial investigators.

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“There is an inherent link between money and violence. Violence is used to extort, blackmail, burgle, control and exploit. It’s used to protect criminal profits and maintain control of territories.

“Cash remains king, but as technology and online platforms develop, some are moving to more sophisticated methods of laundering their profits.

“But, we have highly trained officers and specialist units working day and night to remain one step ahead.”

Detective Constable Joe Ryan said: “Criminals need to legitimise their money otherwise it risks being seized by law enforcement.

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“The proceeds of crime are almost always laundered to hide the origin, but by disrupting the flow of funds before they are reinvested, we can make London an incredibly difficult place for criminals to operate.”

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