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Record £180m Bitcoin haul seized by police probing international money laundering

Cryptocurrency: Expert discusses success of Bitcoin

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The staggering total tops their previous record set on June 24 of £114million and the same woman is linked to the latest sum. The seizures were made by detectives from the Met’s Economic Crime Command after intelligence about the transfer of criminal assets. A 39-year-old woman was arrested on June 24 on suspicion of money laundering offences.The same woman was interviewed in relation to the discovery of the near £180million worth of virtual currency on Saturday.

She has been bailed to a date in late July as the investigation continues.

Detective Constable Joe Ryan said: “Less than a month ago we seized £114million in cryptocurrency. Our investigation since 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 as we home in on those at the centre of suspected money laundering.”

Virtual currency such as Bitcoin is hard to seize because it is stored on computers or the internet.

When stored online the cryptocurrency is easy to spend but vulnerable to hacking and theft so often it is kept on data storage devices or computers not connected to the web.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said: “While cash remains king, we’re increasingly seeing organised criminals using cryptocurrency to launder dirty money.

“We have highly trained officers working hard to remain one step ahead of those using it for illicit gain.

“The detectives on this case have worked tirelessly and meticulously to trace millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrency suspected of being linked to criminality.

“Those linked to this money are working hard to hide it. We will stop at nothing to disrupt the transfer and identify those involved.”

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