IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Met Police seize record £180 million of cryptocurrency

The amount tops the £114 million in cryptocurrency confiscated during a raid last month

London’s Metropolitan Police have carried out the UK’s largest cryptocurrency confiscation to date, seizing nearly £180 million. 

The raid was carried out on Saturday 10 July by detectives from the Met’s Economic Crime Command as part of an investigation into international money laundering.

The detectives had received a tip concerning the transfer of criminal assets and, following the confiscation, interviewed a 39-year-old woman under caution.

The same woman had been involved in the previously-highest cryptocurrency confiscation carried out by the Met, which saw them seize a sum equivalent to £114 million last month. She had since been released on bail.

The Met didn’t specify the type of cryptocurrency that had been confiscated nor as to how it was seized. A spokesman for the Met declined to provide any more details on the case.

Commenting on the news, deputy assistant commissioner Graham McNulty said that while cash is still the most popular form of payment used by criminals, the Met is “increasingly seeing organised criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money”.

According to McNulty, this can be attributed to the development of digital platforms.

Related Resource

The Forrester Wave: Top security analytics platforms

The 11 providers that matter most and how they stack up

The Forrester Wave: Top security analytics platforms - whitepaper from IBMFree download

“Whilst some years ago this was fairly unchartered territory, we now have highly trained officers and specialist units working hard in this space to remain one step ahead of those using it for illicit gain," he said.

"The detectives on this case have worked tirelessly and meticulously to trace millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrency suspected of being linked to criminality and now being laundered to hide the trail. Those linked to this money are clearly working hard to hide it,” he continued, adding that the Met’s investigation into the issue “will stop at nothing to disrupt the transfer and identify those involved”.

DC Joe Ryan said that, since seizing £114 million in cryptocurrency last month, the Met’s investigation into international money laundering 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 hone in on those at the centre of this suspected money laundering operation,” he added.

Last month, an FOI revealed that crimes related to cryptocurrencies had increased 12-fold in the past four years, from 704 reported incidents in 2016 to almost 9,000 in 2020.

Featured Resources

Mastering retention

Turning user behaviour insights into retention strategies

Free Download

Dell PowerEdge with AMD

IT applications and infrastructure are the prime catalyst for new revenue creation

Free Download

Building for success with off-premises private cloud

Leveraging co-location facilities to execute your cloud strategy

Free Download

Cyber resiliency and end-user performance

Reduce risk and deliver greater business success with cyber-resilience capabilities

Free Download

Most Popular

46 US states call for Meta monopoly lawsuit to be reinstated
mergers and acquisitions

46 US states call for Meta monopoly lawsuit to be reinstated

20 Sep 2022
Anonymous hacks Iranian government and state broadcasters
cyber attacks

Anonymous hacks Iranian government and state broadcasters

22 Sep 2022
Why collaboration is key to digital transformation

Why collaboration is key to digital transformation

13 Sep 2022