The British police confiscated £180 million or about $250 million worth of digital assets as part of a thorough investigation for money laundering. The operation was marked as the largest seizure ever executed in the United Kingdom.
That’s a record for the Metropolitan Police service, which oversees law enforcement for the Greater London area, breaking a high that was set just a few weeks ago when officials confiscated £114 million ($158 million) in crypto.
“While cash still remains king in the criminal world, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money,” said deputy assistant commissioner Graham McNulty in a statement. “Whilst some years ago this was fairly uncharted 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.”
According to the statement, the Met’s Economic Crime Command made both crypto seizures after the team received intelligence about the transfer of criminal assets.
A 39-year-old woman was arrested on June 24 in connection to the case. Since then, she was released on bail, the police said. That same woman was also questioned in relation to the latest crypto confiscation.
The investigation is still ongoing and it was not specified which cryptocurrency was seized.
As reported before, the FBI had seized most of the ransom, over $2.3 million in Bitcoin, paid to cybercriminals after a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline in the U.S. But it doesn’t compare to the seizure of nearly 70,000 Bitcoins (about $1 billion at the time) by the U.S. Justice Department and federal agents last November.