Record £180m worth of cryptocurrency seized by police

A record £180m worth of cryptocurrency linked to international money laundering has been seized by the Met Police in London.

This is the UK’s largest cryptocurrency seizure and tops the recent previous record set by the Met when it confiscated £114m of cryptocurrency on 24 June.

The seizures, which form part of an ongoing investigation into international money laundering, were made by the Met’s Economic Crime Command on the back of intelligence received about the transfer of criminal assets.

A 39-year-old woman was arrested on 24 June on suspicion of money laundering offences, and was released on bail. The same woman has been interviewed under caution in relation to the discovery of the near £180m worth of cryptocurrency over the weekend on 10 July, and she has now been bailed to a date in late July as the investigation continues.

The Met has not confirmed which cryptocurrencies were seized as part of the operation.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Graham McNulty, commented: “Proceeds of crime are laundered in many different ways. While cash still remains king in the criminal word, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organised criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money.

“Whilst some years ago this was fairly unchartered territory, we now have highly trained officers and specialist units working hard in this space to remain one step ahead of those using it for illicit gain.

“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 clearly working hard to hide it. Our investigation will stop at nothing to disrupt the transfer and identify those involved.”

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