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UK's Crown Prosecution Service To Seize Criminals' Cryptocurrencies




UK criminals who believe they can hide their assets in cryptocurrency might need to rethink their strategy.

On November 28, 2017, reports indicated that the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Proceeds of Crime division has begun seizing digital assets in accordance with confiscation orders it recently obtained.

The CPS is the principal prosecuting authority for England and Wales, acting to prosecute criminal cases investigated by the police and others. Within this capacity it works to seize illegal assets and evidence.

Specifically included in the five restraint orders is the mention of digital currencies, though it must be proven that the funds derive from criminal enterprises before they can be confiscated. One case being investigated by CPS involved a seizure valued at 2.2 million pounds, including 26,000 pounds worth of bitcoin.

According to the report, the Crown Court has said that suspects will be required to "disclose the digital currency particulars and repatriate any assets held abroad to the UK." CPS has also obtained permission to convert the assets it confiscates into fiat, namely pounds sterling.

The head of CPS Proceeds of Crime Nick Price warned those trying to cloak their improperly acquired resources in cryptocurrency to beware. "If criminals believe they can hide their ill-gotten assets online they are very much mistaken."

Jeremy Nation

Jeremy Nation is a writer living in Los Angeles with interests in technology, human rights, and cuisine.

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