On Tuesday, July 13, the Metropolitan Police announced the raid, saying that they took action to seize the virtual stockpile after getting information about intentions to move illegal assets over the weekend.
The confiscation was conducted by the Metropolitan Police’s Economic Crime Command, and it is believed to be the greatest national digital currency raid in history, as well as one of the highest sums ever confiscated internationally.
The increasing popularity of digital currencies such as Bitcoin is giving new possibilities for fraudsters, according to a senior Met official, but specialist police are attempting to keep one step ahead.
In a release, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Graham McNulty of the Metropolitan Police stated:
While cash still remains king in the criminal word, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organized 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 finding exceeds the previous record of £114 million in cryptocurrencies confiscated by the Met less than a month ago. A 39-year-old woman was detained for money laundering in that instance.
There have been no charges about this second raid, but according to CNBC, the woman who was engaged in the previous case was questioned in relation to this week’s event.