Australian crime detectives have seized a record amount of nearly AUD 8.5 million (more than $ 6 million) in BTC in Victoria. Local media reported on Friday that this was the largest number of cryptocurrencies ever seized by police in Australia and that it was part of an investigation into an online drug trade on a darknet.
Australian police confiscated property worth over 9 mil. USD
Victoria police said that with the help of the East Gippsland criminal unit and the Bass Coast criminal unit, they arrested properties in Kinglake, Preston, Prahran, Dollar and South Yarra.
Items seized during the searches include drugs that the police believe are “cannabis, psilocin (fungi), MDMA, prescription drugs and white powder and crystals”.
The authorities also seized two properties worth A $ 2 million and vehicles worth A $ 100,000. According to reports, the total assets seized during the operation were valued at AUD 13.1 million ($ 9.3 million).
In the meantime, three people were also arrested during the investigation, including a 30-year-old man from Preston and a 31-year-old woman from Kinglake, who were questioned by police. Although both were released pending further investigation, the woman was charged with possession of cannabis and will appear in court on March 3, 2022.
Modern version of drug trafficking
Commander Mick Frewen of Victoria Criminal Police Headquarters said in a statement:
“This is a remarkable result, which points to the modern nature of serious and organized crime. It’s a version of drug trafficking and money laundering in the 21st century, where criminals use technology to cause enormous amounts of social harm and suffering. “
Frewen added that drug traffickers believe that online drug trafficking is a “safer” option because it provides relative anonymity, but the outcome of the investigation shows the opposite.
Although Victoria’s police launched an investigation earlier this year, they are part of a larger nine-year investigation by the Cybercrime and Crime Departments on Silk Road, a dark internet marketplace launched in 2011.
It is clear that fraudsters, drug dealers and other criminals will use modern technology to continue their activities. All that remains is to look for everything they can use.