Dutch authorities have seized more than €25 million in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, from dozens of suspects in criminal cases. “Cryptocurrencies are widely used as a means of payment for various crimes,” the Dutch prosecutor’s office said.
The Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), the National Criminal Investigation Service (DLR) and the Public Prosecution Service (OM) have collaborated on various investigations with a focus on the seizure of cryptocurrency wallets.
FIOD is the Dutch government agency responsible for investigating financial crimes. The National Criminal Investigation Service is part of the Dutch police unit. The Prosecutor’s Office, also known as the Openbaar Ministerie, is the body of prosecutors in the Dutch criminal justice system.
The announcement reads:
More than €25 million in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have been seized from dozens of suspects.
Various cryptocurrency exchanges in the Netherlands and abroad cooperated with FIOD and the public prosecutor’s office during the criminal investigation. “They are obliged to do so under Dutch law,” OM explained, adding that their cooperation enabled the seizure of the contents of various “cryptocurrency wallets managed by criminals with a total value of more than €25 million”.
However, authorities explained that the identity of the suspects in the investigation is not always known. Some suspects are from the Netherlands, while others are foreigners.
The Prosecution also warned against the use of crypto as a means of payment for criminals, stating:
The possession and use of cryptocurrencies is legal, but also popular with criminals. The reason is that criminals perceive cryptocurrencies as anonymous and can be quickly moved around the world. Cryptocurrencies are therefore widely used as a means of payment for various crimes.
The OM detailed that cryptocurrencies are used in cybercrime, such as ransomware software, and as a means of payment, for example to pay for hosting services. “In addition, we are increasingly seeing cryptocurrencies in forms of crime such as drug and human trafficking, fraud and tax evasion.”
Furthermore, “The investigation also revealed that criminals are countering unwanted currency exchange rates by converting cryptocurrencies into so-called ‘stablecoins’ such as USDT. These are cryptocurrencies whose value is pegged to the US dollar,” – the Prosecution noted.
16-11-2021, Mr Advice TEAM