Bitcoin worth €52m seized from alleged drug dealer

One of the biggest Bitcoin seizures in history has taken place in Ireland this week with the High Court ordering an suspected drug dealer to forfeit €52 million

Irish High Court has seized Bitcoin worth €52 million from an alleged drug dealer.

Clifton Collins is reported to have built up his cryptocurrency portfolio after becoming an early investor, although the High Court ruled that the initial investment was the proceeds of crime.

The 49-year-old did not contest the Criminal Asset Bureau’s application to seize the Bitcoin. He was subsequently charged with various offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Inquiries into Collins’ assets came from a lengthy police investigation in connection with an arrest in February 2017 that saw officers stop a vehicle driven by Collins with a quantity of cannabis.

Officers then searched an address in a remote location near to Maam Cross, where a number of cannabis plants were found discovered.

According to a report in the Independent, the assets will remain seized unless contested for seven years, which means the seizure will likely have no immediate effect on the price of Bitcoin.

While it is being considered a landmark case due to the sheer amount of cryptocurrency being seized, it has been a fairly common occurrence over the past few years in connection with the infamous dark web.

Last April a Canadian drug dealer was ordered to forfeit a $1.9 million stash of Bitcoin while, one month earlier, an international team of police made 61 arrests and seized $6.2 million in Bitcoin in connection with dark web drug dealing.

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