The Dutch authorities took over 25,000,000 euros worth of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptos due to criminal activity.
A Chainalysis 2021 report revealed that in 2019 the volume of illicit crypto activity represented a small 2.1% of all transactions, and in 2020 that volume fell 0.34%, but their expectation for 2021 was for “cybercriminal use of DeFi for money laundering to increase”.
just as the cryptocurrency industry is always evolving, so too are the bad actors who commit cryptocurrency-related crime.
Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), National Criminal Investigation Department(DLR) and Public Prosecution Service [OM] collaborated on a variety of investigations in an effort to capture crypto wallets related to criminal activities.
The authorities claimed in a public announcement that they “increasingly encounter cryptocurrencies in forms of crime such as drug and human trafficking, fraud and tax evasion.”
Dutzende of suspects have been accused in the seizure of more than 25 million euros in cryptocurrency ethereum and bitcoin.
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Public Prosecution Service also commented on the reasons why cryptocurrencies were used for criminal activity:
Criminals are also allowed to possess and use cryptocurrencies. Criminals are able to quickly move cryptocurrencies around the globe because they understand them as anonymous. This is why cryptocurrencies have been widely used to pay for many types of criminality.
Crypto-Exchanges Have Helped to Seize Coins
After the appropriate legal action was taken, the FIOD an OM were reportedly supported by foreign crypto-exchanges and the Netherlands.
The OM explains that these companies are “obliged to take action beneath Dutch legislation,” adding that their collaboration made it possible to access the “crypto wallets managed by criminals” and retrieve the $28.6 million worth in cryptocurrencies. It is anticipated that the value will eventually be transferred to state treasury.
The investigation additionally revealed that criminals counteract undesirable alternate charges by changing cryptocurrencies into so-called ‘stablecoins’ corresponding to USDT. These are cryptocurrency whose value is linked to the U.S. dollar.
Some suspects were found outside of the Netherlands so authorities asked for cooperation from foreign counterparts and sent them to the Netherlands immediately after they had been identified.
2013 was the year of the first seizure of cryptocurrencies in The Netherlands. The OM thinks that investigation have improved over the years, gotten faster, and are now more efficient. It has become possible for the investigation agencies to gather evidence from traces left in crypto cases by suspected criminals. They were thus able to seize assets and spot the suspects.
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The Netherlands Picture of Crypto
The approximate number of Dutch investors in Bitcoin Meesters is 700,000. However, there’s no way to know how large the nation’s total.
The Dutch central bank (DNB) has registered around 20 cryptocurrency service providers, but a spokesperson commented “It only means that the providers are not involved in criminal activities, but that is as far as monitoring goes.”
Regardless of the remarkable performance of Bitcoin over the year and the world slowly but unavoidably adapting towards cryptocurrencies, the Dutch investors association (VEB) and the DNB have been warring around Bitcoin and are not convinced of its utility, the latter expressed that the bank is “not advising for or against investment but we do have an opinion,” which is not an amicable one.