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Crypto-crackdown British police seize a staggering €132 million worth of Bitcoin from crime gang

'Every single part of the Met is working to reduce violence on the streets of London..this includes our financial investigators'

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An advertisement for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

An advertisement for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

An advertisement for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

British police have seized €132 million (£114 million) in what is believed to be the largest cryptocurrency bust on record. 

Acting on a tip-off, the Met’s Economic Crime Command uncovered the massive amount of allegedly laundered money that was controlled by a suspected criminal enterprise.

The haul was found stored on computers when the Met Police swooped on a suspected gang of launderers.

It has been reported that the suspicion was aroused when an alleged member of the gang bought a €12 million mansion in central London.

The bust is the largest recorded in UK history, and is believed to be one of the biggest scores in the global fight against the use of cryptocurrency in money laundering.

Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been used criminals as a method of anonymously moving money since they were introduced.

However, law enforcement agencies are increasingly seized the cryptocurrencies and impounding them.

Detective Constable Joe Ryan believes the seizure was being laundered as massive amounts of cash from crime on London’s streets was cleaned.

“Criminals need to legitimise their money otherwise it risks being seized by law enforcement,” Detective Constable Ryan said.

“The proceeds of crime are almost always laundered to hide the origin, but by disrupting the flow of funds before they are reinvested, we can make London an incredibly difficult place for criminals to operate.”

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said the Metropolitan Police’s main goal was to stem the violence caused by crime in London.

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“Every single part of the Met is working to reduce violence on the streets of London as an absolute priority, this includes our financial investigators,” Commissioner McNulty told local press.

“Violence is used to extort, blackmail, burgle, control and exploit. It’s used to protect criminal profits and maintain control of territories.”

McNulty revealed investigators helped seize more than £47 million (54 million euro) in the fiscal year of 2020-2021.

“This cash can no longer be reinvested in crime, it cannot be used to buy and peddle drugs and weapons, and cannot be used to entice and exploit young and vulnerable people into criminality,” Commissioner McNulty said.

“Cash remains king, but as technology and online platforms develop, some are moving to more sophisticated methods of laundering their profits.

"But, we have highly trained officers and specialist units working day and night to remain one step ahead. "

He added: “These officers not only work to disrupt and seize funds being transferred digitally, they continue to deprive criminals of hard cash. In the financial year 2020/21, we have seized more than £47 million from the hands of criminals."

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