Irish Drug Dealer Forced to Surrender €52 Million in Bitcoin to Authorities

Michael LaVere
  • An Irish drug dealer was forced to surrender €52 million in crypto to the Criminal Assets Bureau.
  • High Court determined the proceeds to be the result of a crime. 

A drug dealer was forced to surrender €52 million (around $56 million) in cryptocurrency to Ireland's Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) after the country's High Court determined it to be proceeds from a crime. 

According to the report by Irish news outlet Independent, Dubliner Clifton Collins accumulated more than €52 million in the illegal sale and supply of drugs. Justice Alex Owens ruled that the bitcoin should be forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime legislation, a decision that went uncontested by Collins. 

The report claims authorities discovered a quantity of cannabis in Collins possession after a vehicle stoppage which took place in February 2017. Authorities went on to find a large number of suspected cannabis plants at an address at Farnaught, Corr na Móna. A subsequent investigation by the CAB led the bureau to uncover Collins's extensive holding of crypto assets, which amounted to €52 million. 

The report claims that Collins was an early investor in bitcoin and crypto-assets, which appreciated exponentially over the years. The CAB was able to secure a freezing order on the bitcoin to ensure that it could not be moved from the wallet prior to a court ruling. 

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