Authorities in the Netherlands have seized more than 25 million euros in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ether, from dozens of criminal suspects. “Cryptocurrencies are widely used as a means of payment for various types of crime,” according to the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands.
Authorities in the Netherlands seize over €25 million in cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin and Ether.
The Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands announced last week that it had seized more than 25 million euros ($28.6 million) in cryptocurrencies in recent months in collaboration with two other agencies.
According to the announcement, the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), the National Criminal Investigation Service (DLR), and the Public Prosecution Service (OM) collaborated on various investigations in which the emphasis was on seizing crypto wallets.
The FIOD is a government agency in the Netherlands in charge of investigating financial crimes. The Dutch National Police Unit includes the National Criminal Investigation Service. The Public Prosecution Service, also known as the Openbaar Ministerie, is the Dutch criminal justice system’s body of public prosecutors.
According to the announcement:
Hundreds of suspects were apprehended with more than 25 million euros in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum.
When criminal proceedings were initiated, various crypto exchanges in the Netherlands and abroad collaborated with the FIOD and the Public Prosecution Service. “They are required to do so under Dutch law,” the OM explained, adding that their cooperation enabled the seizure of the contents of various “criminal-managed crypto wallets worth more than 25 million euros.”
The authorities, however, explained that the identity of suspects in an investigation is not always known. Some of the suspects are Dutch, while others are foreign nationals. “Subject to applicable international agreements,” the OM explained, “they will be transferred to the designated foreign authorities.”
The Public Prosecution Service also issued a warning about the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment for criminals, stating:
Although the possession and use of cryptocurrencies is legal, they are also popular among criminals. The reason for this is that criminals perceive cryptocurrencies to be anonymous and capable of being moved quickly around the world. As a result, cryptocurrency is widely used as a means of payment for various types of crime.
According to the OM, cryptocurrencies are used in cybercrime, such as ransomware, and as a form of payment, such as when paying for hosting services. “In addition, we are seeing an increase in the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities such as drug and human trafficking, fraud, and tax evasion.”
“The investigation also revealed that criminals counteract unfavorable exchange rates by converting cryptocurrencies into so-called’stablecoins’ such as USDT.” The Public Prosecution Service stated that “these are cryptocurrencies whose value is linked to the US dollar.”