Police in Australia As part of its recent assault on dark web drug trafficking, Victoria acquired approximately AUD 8.5 million ($ 6 million) in bitcoin. The raid, which targeted a number of houses in Victoria’s southern region, is thought to be Australia’s biggest crypto seizure to yet.
During the raids, Australian authorities detained a 31-year-old lady from Kinglake and a 30-year-old male from Preston, according to Victoria Police. The Kinglake resident was charged with cannabis possession, and they were both freed. In addition, a 33-year-old Preston man was detained and cautioned for cannabis possession.
The cryptocurrency is thought to be bitcoin (BTC), and authorities believe the two suspects are connected to Silk Road, the first contemporary darknet market that US investigators shut down in 2013, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the Silk Road, is serving a double life sentence. For the first time in five years, over $1 billion BTC was transferred last November, allegedly from the notorious darknet market. One theory is that Ulbricht or a Silk Road merchant shifted their cash, however Ulbricht is unlikely to have transferred bitcoins from prison.
According to Mick Frewen, head of the Victoria Criminal Police, as part of the most recent operation, the police also seized a number of significant assets, including property and automobiles. According to the statement, the assets seized are worth about AUD 13.1 million (USD 9.3 million).
“This is the twenty-first century equivalent of drug trafficking and money laundering, with criminals utilising technology to do enormous damage and misery in the community,” Frewen said in a statement.
“These guys went completely unnoticed by the cops. He told the Sydney Morning Herald, “They have amassed tremendous riches while utilising the computer in their own living room.”
According to the police commander, while some may believe that internet drug trafficking is a “safer” alternative for criminals or that it is less likely to lead to identification by law enforcement, this is not the case.
According to Frewen, “police are actively working on these forums and receiving intelligence from a wide range of sources, including our Australian and international law enforcement partners.” “This outcome also clearly illustrates the significance of asset forfeiture and ensuring that individuals involved in severe and organised crime do not profit financially from their illegal activity.”
The narcotics seizure is the outcome of a 2012 investigation by the Cybercrime Squad and Proceeds of Crime Squad police. Following claims of a ‘federal agency,’ Victoria Police started a new inquiry early this year.
Victoria Police first seized bitcoin in 2013, following the arrest of a narcotics dealer. Three wallets totaling 24,518 BTC were discovered by police. That BTC was worth around $ 700,000 at the time of the man’s arrest in late 2021. It is now worth $1.16 billion.