The percentage of illegal crypto transactions, according to this Chainalysis report, is about 2% of total transactions. Although the majority of cryptocurrency transactions is not illegal, it is increasingly being used for criminal activities.
As part of a dark web operation, Australian police have conducted a massive cryptocurrency seizure. The total value seized was about $6 million (AUD 8.5 million). According to the authorities, this is the largest crypto seizure made in Australia in history.
Crypto Seizure And The Dark Web
Victoria police reported that the seizure was part of an ongoing investigation into online drug trafficking. The arrests and seizures constitute part of an investigation into drug trafficking on a dark web platform that has been online since 2012. Australian authorities have been investigating the drug trafficking dark web platform since early 2021.
Related Reading | US Government Plans To Pay Rewards To Dark Web Informants In Cryptocurrency
On Thursday, detectives conducted searches at properties in Kinglake, Preston, Prahran, Dollar, and South Yarra. They carried out the searches with assistance from East Gippsland Crime Investigation Unit and Bass Coast Crime Investigation Unit. Several items were seized from the properties. These include drugs believed to be cannabis, Psilocin (magic mushrooms), MDMA, prescription medication, and white powder and crystals. The police also seized assets worth a total of AUD 13.1M. Among these were two properties in Kinglake and Dollar valued at about $2M. Vehicles, including a Toyota Prado and VW T-Cross, valued at about $100,000, were also seized.
Crypto total market cap settles above $2 trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on TradingView.com
Three people were arrested and interviewed by the police. This includes a 31-year-old Kinglake woman and a 30-year-old Preston man. Although both have been released pending further inquiries, the woman was charged with possession of cannabis. A 33-year-old man was also arrested at the Preston address.
Investigations Remain Underway
Investigations into drug trafficking in Australia are still ongoing. The authorities urge anyone with information to contact them. Victoria Police Crime Command, Commander Mick Frewen, noted that the case highlights the modern nature of the serious and organized crime. “This is the 21st-century version of drug trafficking and money laundering, with criminals using technology to enable immense amounts of community harm and misery,” he stated.
He also mentioned that although there may be a perception of anonymity in online drug trafficking, the investigation shows otherwise. “We make no apology for targeting those involved in the manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs and holding them to account”.
Related Reading | UK Police Seize Ethereum Worth $9.5 Million Found On USB Stick
This incident is just one of many recorded in recent times. The UK police have conducted investigations that have resulted in crypto seizures. The latest confiscation involved significant amounts of Ethereum (ETH) found on USB sticks connected to an international cryptocurrency scam.
Featured image from Decrypt, Chart from TradingView.com