Met police seize nearly £180m of bitcoin in money laundering investigation


Metropolitan police detectives investigating international money laundering have seized nearly £180m of bitcoin.

The seizure by the Met’s economic crime command follows a confiscation of £114m of the cryptocurrency in June.

The two confiscations were made after intelligence received about the transfer of criminal assets.

“While cash still remains king in the criminal word, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organised criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money,” said the Metropolitan police’s deputy assistant commissioner, Graham McNulty.

A 39-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering after the first haul was discovered and has been interviewed under caution over the £180m discovery.

One bitcoin is worth about £23,500, having fallen from a peak in April of £47,126.48, meaning the sum confiscated may have been worth nearly double three months ago.

The assets were seized by the force’s economic crime command and the investigation is continuing.

DC Joe Ryan said: “Less than a month ago we successfully seized £114m in cryptocurrency. Our investigation since then has been complex and wide-ranging. We have worked hard to trace this money and identify the criminality it may be linked to.

“Today’s seizure is another significant landmark in this investigation which will continue for months to come as we home in on those at the centre of this suspected money-laundering operation.”