UK National Crime Agency Seizes $33 Million in Cryptocurrency

This week saw the publication of the annual report for 2021-22 by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom. On its website, the National Crime Agency (NCA) is described as “leading the U.K.’s campaign to cut severe and organized crime,” with the goal of “protecting the public by targeting and pursuing those offenders who pose the greatest risk to the U.K.”

Between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, the National Crime Agency (NCA) seized property with a total value of £59.79 million, according to the report, which states:

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Seized property held by the NCA as at 31 March 2022 consisted of £59.79m … in cash, motor vehicles and other valuables suspected of being derived from criminal activity

The National Crime Agency (NCA) disclosed that among the assets that were confiscated was bitcoin valued at £26.894 million ($32.75 million). On the other hand, during that time period, no digital currency was ever found. The authorities did not provide any details regarding the cryptocurrencies that were taken into custody.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) mentioned in its report that “Criminals increasingly abused financial technology and crypto assets,” which might be detrimental to “the economy of the United Kingdom and its institutions.”

“The NCA has been compelled to move rapidly to attempt to stem the use of these cryptocurrencies in financial crimes,” commented Morgan Heavener, a partner at the consultancy Accuracy. Because cryptocurrencies are not subject to the same level of regulatory supervision as traditional currencies, they are appealing to criminals who want to move money throughout the world.

Throughout the years, other British authorities have carried out seizures of cryptocurrency. In January, 12 different police agencies in the United Kingdom made the announcement that they had recovered cryptocurrencies in the course of criminal investigations totaling around £322 million over the course of the previous five years. As part of an investigation into possible instances of money laundering, the Metropolitan Police of London announced in July of 2018 that it had obtained bitcoin valued at approximately £180 million.

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