Clients seized cryptocurrencies valued at around £180m ($250m, €210m), describing it as “one of the largest seizures in the world”.
Scotland Yard stressed that it had broken the record for a seizure of £114m by London Metropolitan Police in June, part of an ongoing investigation into international money laundering.
A 39-year-old woman was arrested on June 24 on suspicion of money laundering and then released on bail. She was then questioned about the discovery of nearly £180 million worth of virtual currency on July 10.
“Less than a month ago, we were able to seize £114 million worth of cryptocurrency. Since then, our investigation has been complex and far-reaching… Today’s seizure is another important step in this investigation that will continue for several months to come.” Detective Joe Ryan explained at A statement that we are looking for the people at the center of the alleged money laundering operation.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are regularly criticized by regulators for their illegal uses due to the anonymity they allow, as well as their ease of use.
According to a Chainalysis report published in February, virtual currency transactions for illegal purposes reached $10 billion in 2020, 1% of all cryptocurrency activity last year and half the amount of the previous year, when that activity hit a record high. The figure is $21.4 billion.