The Australian Border Force (ABF) has announced today that it has arrested a couple for allegedly transporting banned drug MDMA. It is understood from the report that after the arrest, the police force found $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies with the couples.
Australian officials believe that this is the largest amount of cryptocurrencies confiscated by the authorities for a drug-related offense. The operation was a joint one by the Australian Federal Police and the WA Police Force regarding a series of suspected drug transportation scheme.
The information gathered was used to track the suspected couple who were apprehended with 55g of MDMA tablets and powder. Police officials later discovered a small electronic device which is most likely a cold wallet that contained $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
This was affirmed by the Officer in Charge of Drug & Firearm squad Paul Matthews who claimed that this was the largest confiscation of crypto assets for drug trafficking.
He also alluded to the fact that criminals had begun to use the latest form of payments to beat authorities. ”The identification and freezing of over $1.5 million of cryptocurrency in these circumstances highlights the current digital environment in which law enforcement agencies must operate”
CryptoCurrencies Increasingly A Target For Criminals
Despite the groundbreaking potentials of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, there is still apprehension regarding its use for illicit activities. This has brought about negative attention from regulators and authorities who see these digital assets as a way of bypassing checks and regulations.
There have been several cases of criminals using cryptocurrencies to launder money and cases of extreme attacks on organizations.
Such a case happened in a hospital in Isreal where hackers demanded payment in bitcoins after installing ransomware on the institution computers.
This has brought about exaggerated publicity from mainstream media regarding the dangers of cryptocurrencies.
However, research reports have proven otherwise with the latest report from a reputable statistic company noting that only 0.5% of popular coin Bitcoin was linked to possible illegal activities.
While that of Ripple is only 0.2%. With the advent of KYC policies by several exchanges and wallets, it would become increasingly difficult for criminals to utilize crypto tokens for illicit transactions.