Some 295 bitcoins seized last year during the investigation of a case of money laundering and drug cultivation. In a hearing held on July 19 it was stated that the criminal had obtained more than two million pounds sterling, equivalent to almost 2.7 million dollars.
The information was published on the website of the Police of Surrey, the county of England where the event occurred. In this sense, the institution highlights the fact that for the first time in the United Kingdom the procedures established by the current laws to seize and exchange cryptoactives are followed. This after determining, based on the provisions of the Law of the Assets of Crime of that country, that this type of coins are "realizable goods" and, therefore, confiscables.
Add the press release that the seized bitcoins were the product of illicit activities carried out by a Latvian citizen named Seregjs Teresko, who currently pays a sentence of more than 9 years in prison for money laundering, cannabis cultivation and possession and control of articles for fraudulent use.
It is noted that during the investigations of the case, a cannabis factory was discovered at the domicile of this individual in April 2017 along with 220,575 pounds sterling, 30,075 euros and 14,040 Thai baht, all in cash, in addition to gold bullion and jewelry. We also found false identity documents, credit cards and electronic equipment, among which we found a cold wallet for the safekeeping of cryptocurrencies .
After the discovery of this wallet, we started an unpublished procedure, according to the source, because it had to resort to the support of the Regional Organized Crimes Unit of the Southeast, with whose legal, tactical and technical assistance was able to access the digital portfolio, finding the 295 bitcoins. The application was also made to the Court of Magistrates to confiscate the contents of the portfolio.
In this way the note highlights that is the first time that this regulation is used to retain cryptoactive agents and adds that legal permission must also be requested to transfer these assets to a portfolio controlled by the Surrey Police. Subsequently, the bitcoins were exchanged for sterling in an exchange house, obtaining -according to the exchange rate of that date- an amount of approximately £ 1,246,279.
As closing of the case, the hearing of this July 19 established that Teresko had benefited from his criminal activity in the amount of 2,058,612 pounds sterling and the Court ruled that he should give up £ 1,447,935, including the crypto-active, in addition to paying an additional £ 13,150 in the next three months.
Given the novelty of the fact, one of the investigators of the case, the inspector Matthew Durkin, of the Economic Crimes Unit, said that this opinion sets an important precedent in the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal purposes.