“Police in UK Granted Power to Confiscate Illegal Cryptocurrency Without Arrests”


In the United Kingdom, law enforcement now has the authority to seize, freeze, or destroy cryptocurrency assets associated with criminal activity. This new power, which goes into effect on April 26, 2024, is part of a larger effort to protect the country’s national security.

According to Home Secretary James Cleverly, these reforms are necessary to prevent criminals from benefiting from their illegal activities. This sentiment is echoed by UK Security Minister Tom Tugendhat, who believes that the updated legislation is “bad news for criminals.”

The new rules, which were passed in September 2023, give police and the National Crime Agency (NCA) the ability to investigate and seize cryptocurrency linked to organized crime, drug dealing, fraud, and terrorism. This includes the power to transfer seized assets to electronic wallets or destroy them if they are deemed detrimental to the public good. Law enforcement is also allowed to take control of passwords and memory sticks.

The UK government’s press release states that these changes are necessary to prevent criminals from undermining the legitimate use of cryptocurrency, while also supporting its potential as a driver of economic growth.

These measures have already proved effective, with the NCA and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seizing over $150 million from a criminal drug enterprise in a joint operation earlier this year. Additionally, the UK police have seized over $250 million in crypto from suspected money launderers and over £750,000 from three men who accepted cryptocurrency for counterfeit drugs.

In summary, the UK’s new legislation gives authorities more power to combat cryptocurrency-related crime and protect national security. With these reforms in place, criminals will no longer be able to benefit from their illicit activities, making the country safer for everyone.

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