Australian Police Seize $8.4 Million in Bitcoin Possibly Linked to Silk Road Marketplace
According to a recent report, law enforcement authorities from Victoria, Australia have seized $8.49 million in crypto assets. The seizure stemmed from a darknet market investigation that ultimately led to uncovering “drug trafficking on a dark web platform dating back to 2012.”
Police in Victoria, Australia Seize Stash of Drugs and $8.4 Million in Bitcoin
On August 20, the writer for the publication the Age, Simone Fox Koob explained how law enforcement from Australia, specifically the state of Victoria, seized $8.49 million in crypto assets believed to be bitcoin. Two Victorians obtained a massive stash of bitcoin, cash and drugs. The police believe the duo might be connected to the Silk Road marketplace.
Law and drug enforcement agents arrested a 31-year old woman from Kinglake, north of Melbourne, and a 30-year-old man from Preston, according to Koob’s report. Police seized a stash of drugs including marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, and prescription drugs as well. Koob notes that the couple was released pending “further inquiries” but the woman faces cannabis charges.
According to the Age report, Australian law enforcement has been investigating the couple’s alleged usage of the original Silk Road marketplace. The pair of suspects were “associates,” Koob’s report detailed and they amassed “significant wealth.” The report also notes that two properties located in Kinglake and Dollar were also forfeited to law enforcement and the combined value of both properties was $2 million.
$2.6 Million in Cash Seized From an ‘Unremarkable’ Pair
Law enforcement also took $2.6 million in cash stored in the couple’s banks and two vehicles that were worth around $100K. A member of Victoria Police’s crime command, commander Mick Frewen, told the Age that the pair were ordinary people. “These people have not come to police notice at all. They’ve amassed extensive wealth all from the keyboard in their own living room,” Frewen emphasized. The law enforcement commander added:
They are just completely anonymous individuals in the community … I would describe them as quite unremarkable in every way. They don’t ordinarily get associated with overt displays of wealth, [or have a] connection to any organised crime gang or network.
Frewen further stressed that the investigation will take some time and law enforcement needs to cross jurisdictions and get information on specific platforms. The couple faces upwards of 10 years in prison for the offenses and the female must appear in court for the narcotics possession charges.
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