Finance

Record catch: more than 25 million euros in crypto coins seized

In a money laundering investigation of dozens of suspects, the services confiscated their digital wallets containing, among other things, bitcoin and ethereum.

The identity of all suspects is not known, because possession of crypto coins is possible anonymously. They come from both the Netherlands and abroad. No arrests have been made yet. Foreign authorities are asked to transfer the suspects to the Netherlands as soon as they are identified.

Crypto exchanges must cooperate

The investigation and the arrests were carried out in collaboration with the various crypto exchanges at home and abroad. To this end, the services are required by Dutch law.

Largest amount to date

Partly because of its anonymous nature, cryptocurrencies are widely used as a means of payment for all kinds of crime. Due to the ongoing investigation, the Public Prosecution Service does not want to say what the suspects used the money for.

Never before has such a large amount of cryptocurrencies been seized. Last year a total of 8 million euros worth of cryptos was taken, in 2019 the total came to 1 million euros.

stablecoins

During the investigation, according to the OM, it appeared that criminals counteract unwanted exchange rates by converting cryptocurrencies into stablecoins, such as USDT. These are cryptocurrencies whose value is linked to the US dollar. “This eliminates the elements of uncertainty in exchange rate fluctuations.”

state treasury

In 2013, cryptocurrencies were seized for the first time in the Netherlands. Since then, the investigation has gotten better and better, according to the Public Prosecution Service. Evidence can be collected through the traces that criminals leave behind, the identity of suspects can be traced and the assets can be taken away.

The value of the crypto wallets that have been seized ends up in the state treasury.

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