- 12 UK police forces have seized cryptocurrency worth $435 million in the last five years.
- More bitcoins were seized by the London Metropolitan Police than the other police boroughs.
In the last five years, 12 of the UK’s 43 police forces have confiscated cryptocurrencies worth around £322 million ($435 million) in criminal investigations, according to New Scientist, using Freedom of Information (FOI) requests it filed.
Bitcoin accounted for 99.9% of all cryptocurrencies seized in the United Kingdom. According to the publication, law authorities also seized ethereum, monero, dash, and zcash.
The London Metropolitan Police Department seized the most cryptocurrency, totalling £294 million in Bitcoin. In addition, £25 million was confiscated by Greater Manchester Police. However, the queries were not responded to by several police boroughs.
Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States stated in November of last year that $3.5 billion in cryptocurrency was seized during the fiscal year 2021. During the same period, the criminal investigation unit of the tax agency seized 93% of all funds. This year, the agency expects to seize billions of dollars in bitcoin.
In November, the US Justice Department seized $56 million in cryptocurrency with the significant BitConnect cryptocurrency scam. Its promoters defrauded thousands of victims out of $2 billion in bitcoin in 2017. After a staffer at Sony Life Insurance Company in Tokyo embezzled monies from her workplace, US and Japanese law enforcement seized 3,879 bitcoins, today valued at around $167 million.
Crypto crimes — mainly “rug pulls,” in which developers abandon cryptocurrency projects and disappear with users’ coins — increased by 81% to roughly $8 billion in 2021, according to a new analysis from Chainalysis.