Authorities in Sweden are said to have returned $1.3 million in Bitcoin to a jailed drug dealer who amassed the funds through illegal online sales.
Following the arrest of the drug dealer, the Swedish Enforcement Authority began auctioning off the 36 Bitcoin that had been amassed at the time.
However, the value of the stolen cryptocurrency has since risen to the point where only three Bitcoin were auctioned off to match the fiat value of the stolen Bitcoin at the time of the illegal sales.
As a result, the remaining 33 Bitcoin, which is now worth more than $1 million, have been returned to the drug dealer.
“It is unfortunate in a number of ways. It has resulted in consequences that I could not have predicted at the time,” prosecutor Tove Kullberg reportedly told Swedish radio. She went on to say that there is a lesson to be learned in terms of future cryptocurrency-related crimes.
“The lesson to be learned here is to keep the value in Bitcoin, that the profit from the crime should be 36 Bitcoin, regardless of the value of Bitcoin at the time,” Kullberg said.
Furthermore, the prosecutor believes that this is just the beginning of a series of crypto-related crimes.
“I believe we should probably invest in internal education in the prosecution authority, because cryptocurrency will be a factor we will have to deal with to a much greater extent than we do now,” she said.
Kullberg appears to have some supporters in her quest to focus on cryptocurrency.
Sweden and cryptocurrency
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may face regulatory scrutiny in Sweden soon.
In June of this year, the governor of Sweden’s central bank, Stefan Ingves, stated that it was unlikely that cryptocurrency would remain unregulated indefinitely.
“When something becomes large enough, factors such as consumer interests and money laundering come into play. So there is reason to believe that regulation will occur,” Ingves said.
The list does not stop there. Asa Linghagen, Sweden’s financial markets minister, stated that the government is already tightening its standards for crypto exchanges, and that money laundering in the crypto industry is a “very important issue.”