UK Police Can Seize Crypto Assets Without Arrest

The United Kingdom (UK) has taken its enforcement of cryptocurrencies a step higher.

New policies now allow police officials to seize cryptocurrencies belonging to criminals without arrest.

UK Police Granted Authority to Seize Crypto

The UK has now empowered its National Crime Agency (NCA) and police to freeze, and seize crypto holdings used in criminal activities. Interestingly, the provision allows law enforcement agencies to seize other resources like passwords, or sticks.

This policy is part of a crime bill passed in the UK last year. The bill no longer requires officials to arrest before seizing assets belonging to criminals. The UK’s Home Office said in a press release on Friday: “This will make it easier to take assets which are known to have been criminally obtained, even if sophisticated criminals can protect their anonymity or are based overseas.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly said in the statement that the new policy will be a security boost. Cleverly explained: “Terrorist organizations like Daesh are known to raise funds through crypto transactions, and these updated powers will enable our agencies to more easily strip them of their assets.”

Plans to Tackle Crypto Crimes

Earlier this year, the UK police expanded its capacity to monitor illegal crypto activities. This involved employing new and more experienced professionals across fields like cybersecurity. Interestingly, this expansion has yielded huge payoffs.

UK enforcement agents have reportedly seized millions in illegal crypto. Earlier this year, the NCA collaborated with US officials to seize around $150 million in crypto and drugs. UK officials believe the new crime will make it easier to carry out more seizures.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Adrian Foster said: “It is vital that investigators and prosecutors have the capability and agility to keep pace with this changing nature of crime which these new measures will greatly assist our ability to restrain, freeze, or eliminate crypto assets from illegal enterprise.”

UK to Destroy Privacy Coins

The new rule requires officials to move seized cryptos into wallets controlled by law enforcement agents. However, in certain situations, UK officials plan to destroy the seized cryptocurrencies “if returning it to circulation is not conducive to the public good.”

Privacy coins are some of the coins that officials could most likely destroy. In addition, the announcement also hinted at the UK’s plan to continue to promote cryptocurrencies. The new policy only seeks to curb the use of crypto by criminals.


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