The Metropolitan Police announced that its London detectives have seized around $160 million worth of cryptocurrencies in what has become the largest such confiscation in the country. According to a press release published on 24 June, the Met’s Economic Crime Command carried out the seizure after receiving information about the transfer of criminal assets. The police didn’t reveal any details about the cryptocurrencies involved or the time and place of the confiscation, but it said that the money-laundering investigation is still ongoing.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said that, while cash is still the most common way to launder money, some criminals have been moving to more sophisticated methods using cryptocurrencies. The Met’s Economic Crime Command has highly trained officers and specialist units working to stay on top of these sophisticated money laundering operations involving digital assets, he added.
However, earlier this month a senior detective with the Met revealed that outdated laws are still holding law enforcement agencies back. Mich Gallagher, detective superintendent at the Met’s central specialist crime command, said that the Met has been lobbying legislators to align cryptocurrencies with the same kind of approach law enforcement agencies have about cash-based criminality.