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British police seize $408 M worth of cryptocurrency

LONDON — British police have seized record hauls of cryptocurrency totaling 294 million pounds ($408 million) as part of an investigation into money laundering after organized crime groups moved into cryptocurrencies to wash their dirty money.

London police said on Tuesday they had seized 180 million pounds of an undisclosed cryptocurrency less than three weeks after making a 114-million-pound haul on June 24 as part of a money laundering investigation.

“While cash still remains king in the criminal word, as digital platforms develop, we’re increasingly seeing organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money,” said Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty.

A 39-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering after the first haul was discovered and has been interviewed under caution over the 180-million-pound discovery.

“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 center of this suspected money laundering operation,” said Detective Constable Joe Ryan.

As cryptocurrencies are largely anonymous, convenient and global in nature, some of the world’s biggest criminal groups have bet big on them as a way to launder money and stay one step ahead of the police, tax and security forces. — Reuters

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