The usage of cryptocurrency to launder illegal money in London has reached a new peak, with British police seizing $250 million in an unidentified cryptocurrency today.
In its most recent operation, the Metropolitan Police Service of London seized a record $249 million (£180 million) in cryptocurrency as part of a larger investigation into international money laundering.
This is one of the world’s greatest crypto seizures, surpassing the UK’s previous record of $158 million (£114 million) achieved on June 24, according to the Met police.
“We successfully seized £114 million [USD $158 million] in cryptocurrency less than a month ago. Since then, we’ve been conducting a complicated and wide-ranging investigation “In a statement, Detective Constable Joe Ryan stated.
“We’ve put in a lot of effort to track down this money and figure out what criminal activity it might be tied to. Today’s confiscation marks yet another critical milestone in this investigation, which will continue for months as we zero in on people at the heart of this alleged money laundering scheme.”
The Met’s Economic Crime Command made both crypto seizures after receiving intelligence about the transfer of illegal assets, according to the statement.
On June 24, a 39-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the case. She has now been released on bond, according to the police. The same woman was also questioned in connection with the most recent crypto seizure. The inquiry is still underway, and the type of crypto seized has not been disclosed.
According to the Met’s deputy assistant commissioner Graham McNulty, cryptocurrency is playing an increasingly important role in money laundering.
“While cash is still king in the criminal world, we’re increasingly seeing organized criminals use cryptocurrency to launder their filthy money as digital platforms emerge,” he said in a statement.
“While this was relatively uncharted ground a few years ago, we now have highly trained police and speciality units working hard in this space to stay one step ahead of those seeking unlawful gain.”