Dutch investigative services seized no less than 303 million euros in cash and cryptocurrencies in 2020. The Public Prosecution announced this last week in a press release.
This is an increase of € 44.9 million compared to 2019, when € 258.1 million was seized. It is also well above the € 270 million seizure target. € 8.2 million in crypto as bitcoin (BTC) was seized in 2020, a significant increase from € 1.1 million in 2019.
This is because the wallets of several large whales have been seized, reports Anita van Dis, national prosecutor for money laundering and seizure. She reports that "criminals" are increasingly finding their way to "the world of virtual payment methods:"
"We are seeing a sharp increase in certain types of crime involving the misuse of crypto coins."
Yet that is less than 3% of the total, and the use of cash in illegal activities has risen even faster:
"The largest increase in 2020 will be in cash seizures, from 61 million in 2019 to nearly 103 million in 2020."
And that while Van Dis says that it was more difficult for criminals to launder their cash in corona time. Incidentally, crypto seized in the Netherlands are immediately converted to euros:
“The foreign exchange seizure policy is also applied to crypto coins. Just like dollars or pounds, seized bitcoins are immediately exchanged. There are also countries where the cryptos are held until a court decision, but we do not want to give the impression that we are speculating with criminal assets. ”
According to Reinier Bredenoord, policy advisor at the Functional Prosecutor’s Office on crypto in 2019. Last October, two bitcoin traders from Hilversum were convicted of money laundering practices. The judge had then forfeited more than 2,500 BTC.
Recently, a former CIA director said that the use of bitcoin in illegal practices is "significantly overestimated."