Cryptocurrency seizure of £300 million sends a strong message to “bad actors”
The Metropolitan Police’s discovery of £300 million in cryptocurrency this week has sent a clear message to criminals looking to exploit it for money laundering, according to an expert.
Alexandra Clark, a sales trader at digital trading platform GlobalBlock, was speaking after police announced that they had recovered £294 million in digital cash in two separate searches over the last three weeks. They got a haul for £114 million in the first, then another worth £180 million on Tuesday.
After the initial haul was discovered, a 39-year-old woman was detained on suspicion of money laundering and questioned under oath about the £180 million find before being freed until late July.
Ms Clark, on the other hand, denied any idea that the raid was part of a larger operation.
“While there is a sinister element inside the crypto realm, fiat currency remains by far the preferred financial tool of criminals and is still the world’s largest source of money laundering,” she told this website.
“To put things in perspective, in 2020, criminal activity accounted for only 0.34 percent of all bitcoin transaction volume (approximately $10 billion in transfers), down from 2.1 percent in 2019 (about $21.4 billion).
“Given the ease with which illegal transactions can be tracked using chain analysis software, this number will continue to decline, especially as the industry matures and institutional use increases.
“The most high-risk crimes, according to a study performed by the Dawes Centre for Future Crime at UCL looking at cryptocurrency fraud risk, are ransomware attacks, especially with people being forced to work from home.”
Ms Clark stated that, unlike cash, which is anonymous and untraceable, the blockchain technology used by cryptocurrencies was pseudo-anonymous, making it easier to monitor criminal transactions on the blockchain than may be assumed.
“GlobalBlock takes its AML and KYC processes very seriously, and they follow best practices as a rule,” she said.
“For example, we can use this program to enter any wallet address, check where every single currency in the wallet has been, come through, or gone, and get an averaged score based on that.
“So, in the end, if coins have travelled through the dark web or somewhere unlawful, we can tell from the scoring and reject the coins.”
With particular reference to the most recent “Brinkwire Summary News.”