The Australian Border Force (ABF) has recently assisted in the apprehension of a couple for allegedly transporting MDMA. After seizing all drugs, the authorities found over $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies, which officials believe is the most substantial amount ever caught of its kind.
Drug Transportation and Cryptocurrency Involvement
The Australian Federal Police and WA Police Force recently worked together on a case in Perth for drug transportation, according to a report. It says that the ABF provided information for a suspicious couple, that later turned out to be carrying 55g of MDMA tablets and powder.
Interestingly enough, the police officers located a small electronic device at the scene that contained over $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies. According to the Officer in Charge of the Drug & Firearm squad, Paul Matthews, this is the largest seizure of cryptocurrency assets of its sort. He also added that the authorities have to step up their game because of the usage of technology and modern types of payments:
“While WA Police Force has seized millions of dollars’ worth of physical property and bank account assets in the course of several drug investigations, particularly those involving established criminal networks. 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. Using the latest technologies and digital forensic techniques, we thoroughly investigate all possible methods of holding financial assets, and will target all forms of wealth that may be derived from the illicit drug trade.”
Illegal Usage of Cryptocurrencies
Sometimes cryptocurrencies are receiving negative attention from regulators and authorities, implying that their anonymous nature could be used for illicit activities. Such may be the case that happened in Johannesburg a few months ago. The city went through a cyber attack, and the perpetrators demanded the ransom to be paid in bitcoins.
However, while there are a few cases, possibly giving merit to this idea, several other reports are proving the exact opposite. For example, only 0.5% of all Bitcoin transactions are linked to possible illicit activities. A more recent report from the same company noted that Ripple’s usage for alleged illegal transactions is even less – only 0.2%. In conclusion, the paper said that cash is still the most used form of funding for such activities.
Featured image courtesy of The New Daily