Australian Police Generated a 2000% Return on Seized Bitcoin

Michael LaVere
  • Australian Federal Police seized bitcoin in an illegal firearms sale that appreciated over two years. 
  • BTC profits were put back into local communities to support crime prevention efforts. 

Australian authorities have generated a twenty-fold profit on bitcoin seized from an illegal firearms sale involving the use of cryptocurrency. 

According to an annual report published by the Australian Federal Police, authorities were involved in the bust of an illegal firearms salesman in 2016 worth $7300 AUD ($5,000 USD). Authorities were finally able to secure the bitcoin used in the criminal transaction in January 2018, by which time it had appreciated more than 2,000%.

The report claims the seized BTC was deposited into the Commonwealth’s Confiscated Assets Account, which is distributed back into the community and used in further crime prevention. The 2016 firearms bust was also the first time Australian Federal Authorities were involved in the seizure of bitcoin, which has since grown to a more prominent role in money-laundering and other illicit transactions. 

The report contained an update on the activity of Australian authorities over the last year, including the seizure of 14.9 tonnes of illicit drugs and precursors in addition to $53 million AUD in assets restrained. The AFP says that $10 million AUD in benefits to the economy were generated by successful anti-fraud investigations between 2018 - 2019.

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