5,500 BTC ($56 Million) Seized by Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau from Drug Dealer


The Irish High Court ruled that a drug dealer should have his 52 million Euro (more than $56 million) in Bitcoin (BTC) confiscated as being criminal proceeds.

On February 19, the Irish news outlet Independent.ie reported that Clifton Collins was accepted by the court as having been involved in drug dealing. The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) decided to seize his assets and Collins did not contest this decision.

Investigated After Being Stopped in Traffic

The investigation into Collins started by authorities after he was stopped in traffic for a routine check and cannabis was found on him. Police then conducted searches at an address in the Galway Village after the traffic stop, where they found numerous cannabis plants that were allegedly supposed to be Clifton Collins.

The Dealer Was Investing in BTC for Some Time

It’s believed that Collins started investing in BTC early, so he received great returns for his money. His cryptocurrency has been seized by the CAB so that it can’t be moved only with approval from the court. The investment was considered as criminal proceeds, being implied that the money for the initial investment were obtained from selling drugs. The CAB’s highest rate collected amounts 62 million Euro (about $67 million) in total.

Why Do Drug Dealers Hold Cryptocurrencies?

Drug dealers hold cryptocurrencies mostly because crypto addresses are not linked to any identity. Authorities from all over the world are more and more discovering with their investigations that drug dealers use cryptocurrencies. Let’s not forget the Christopher Bania case from October 2018, when Bania was ordered to give up nearly 17 BTC ($150,000 back then) by a Wisconsin court. In August 2019, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Cybercrime Program’s head Neil Wals said that cryptocurrencies make things harder when it comes to anti-money laundering investigations and policies.

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