- The Deputy Assistant Commissioner of The Metropolitan Police has said that “cash remains king” for criminals looking to launder their proceeds
- Graham McNulty made the claim following two huge Bitcoin busts in two weeks’ worth $405 million by the Met
- Cash still dwarfs cryptocurrency use, which will likely continue to be the case as the space is regulated
A senior British police officer has said that “cash is still king” for the laundering of criminal proceeds even after $405 million worth of bitcoin was seized by the Metropolitan Police following an intensive money laundering investigation. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty made the claim when celebrating the second haul of ₿7,294 this week, which follows a first seizure two weeks ago of ₿4,906, as the police widened its net across an international money laundering operation.
Police in Record Bitcoin Seizures
The Met received information about international money laundering of criminal assets using bitcoin earlier this year and tasked its Economic Crime Command (ECC) with investigating it. This resulted in detectives from the ECC tracking down the first haul last month, a British cryptocurrency record at the time, arresting the female perpetrator in the process. Further information then led the ECC to look into other areas of the operation and make an even bigger seizure four days ago, breaking their own record after just two weeks. The investigation is ongoing, suggesting that there could be further seizures ahead.
Cash is Still King For Criminals
Detective Constable Joe Ryan of the ECC called the investigation to trace the bitcoin payments “complex and wide-ranging” adding that, “Today’s seizure is another significant landmark in this investigation which will continue for months to come as we hone in on those at the centre of this suspected money laundering operation.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty added that “we’re increasingly seeing organised criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money”, although stating that “cash remains king” when it comes to money laundering. This statement echoes another statement made last year by Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher, Scotland Yard’s head of specialist crime, who told the Guardian that criminals “are not using cryptocurrency. It’s all £10, £20, £50, thank you very much, cash, cash.”