A Record $1 Million In Crypto Ceased By Drug Suspects in Australia

bitcoin and the darknet

The Western Australia Police Force has recently seized a record amount in cryptocurrency. The police seized the funding, totaling up to a hefty AU$1.52 million, or about US$1 Million, in a recent drug probe concerning two people.

Busted By The Address

A 25-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man were arrested by the Australian Border Force (ABF) due to allegations of importing MDMA. The substances themselves, 55 grams of MDMA spread evenly across drug tablets and powder, were hidden within a children’s toy painting kit. The drug-loaded toy was sent from the UK, heading to the Australian city of Perth.

Upon investigation of the property of the two suspects, the police seized electronic devices and stumbled on AU$ 1.52 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

A New Record for Crypto Seizure

Paul Matthews, detective senior sergeant and the man in charge of the drug and firearms squad of the police force, considered the seizure to be the highest of its kind. He stated Western Australia (WA) Police Force has previously ceased millions of Australian dollars in the form of property and bank assets. Matthews noted that it was especially prevalent in “established criminal networks.”

However, Matthews states that the “identification and freezing of over $1.5 million in cryptocurrency in these circumstances highlights the current digital environment.” He points in context to the environment law enforcement agencies operate within.

Both suspects were charged with attempted possession of drugs with the intent to sell or supply (MDMA). Coupled with that, they’re charged with the possession of prohibited drugs with intent to sell or supply (cannabis). The two have appeared in court twice beforehand, once on the 5th of November and again on the 20th. Their next court date is today, the 4th of December, 2019.

Australia Gearing Up against Drugs

Matthews stated that the WA Police force was making use of the “latest technologies and digital forensics techniques” to further their investigation. In the context of this case, he is referring to “all possible methods of holding financial assets” and thus the possible forms of wealth for illegal activities.

Rod O’Donnell, the Regional Commander of the ABF’s WA branch, stated that the officers at the Perth Gateway Facility made use of x-ray and trace detection. This was to prevent the inflow of multiple small concealed packages of illegal drugs sent through the mail every day.

O’Donnell stated that every little bit of drugs that the ABF can prevent means “one less hit that could potentially ruin someone’s life and the lives of those around them.” He explained that the ABF’s officers were “awake to the many creative methods” that criminals use to try and push these drugs into the country. He noted that the officers would do “everything they can” to stop the illegal imports at the border.

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      A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.