Bitcoin worth €52 million ($56 million) has been confiscated from a drug dealer by Irish police after a court ruled it could be considered proceeds from crime. Clifton Collins was arrested in February 2017, with the courts issuing a freezing order on the ₿5,900 he owned, a haul which represents the single biggest seizure by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in its 24-year history.
Collins’ Confiscated Bitcoin Reaches $120 Million
Collins, 49, was arrested in February 2017 after police found a small amount of cannabis during a traffic stop. His property in Galway, west Ireland, was then searched, where cannabis plants worth almost half a million euros were discovered. What was also discovered shortly after was that Collins had obtained some ₿6,000 in the early days of the cryptocurrency.
This led to a court order temporarily freezing the funds so Collins could not move them, and one can only imagine how he must have been feeling watching Bitcoin rocket to $20,000 just ten months later. This would have left his personal net worth in the region of $120 million at the peak.
Department of Finance Forced to HODL
The High Court ruling this week extended the freezing order from a temporary to a permanent one, forcing Collins to forfeit his holdings once and for all. Under Irish legislation, the BTC will now be held by CAB for around a seven-year period. It will then be handed over to the Department of Finance and made available to central funds, which, by that point, could mean the Irish economy is in for a very healthy boost.