The Criminal Assets Bureau of Ireland (CAB) has reportedly seized a huge amount of bitcoin worth €52 million (app $56 million) from a drug dealer after a ruling by the high court categorizing the funds as proceeds of crime.
According to a Wednesday report by Independent, the accused, Clifton Collins who is 49 and a resident of Crumlin, one of Dublin’s south inner cities, did not oppose the charges brought by the CAB.
Early investments in Bitcoin
He attracted the attention of the law enforcement agency when the local police department started investigating his case in 2017. The officers had found a large quantity of cannabis in a four-wheel vehicle driven by Collins. Thereafter, he appeared before the Bray District Court for various charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Collins is alleged to have made various investments in the early stages of Bitcoin and these investments have yielded a great deal of money over time.
As per the report, the judge in charge of the case, Mr. Justice Alexander Owens, acknowledged that Collins was involved in the supply and sale of drugs and ruled that the assets in his Bitcoin wallet be forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime legislation.
The CAB had already gotten a freezing order to prevent Collins from moving the Bitcoin in his wallet without the court’s approval.
Fiat also used for crime
Collins’ case was not the only one brought before Judge Owens yesterday. There were about five other applications brought to the court by the CAB.
The CAB had seized about €62,136 ($67,119 in a Ladbrokes betting account owned by Stephen McAuley, a resident of Hollystown in west Dublin, for his involvement in drug deals. A Tag Heuer watch valued at €2,900 ($3,132), and another €21,940 ($23,699) were also obtained from him.
Another CAB application was for James O’Neill, a resident of Dublin’s south inner city, who was allegedly involved with a drug gang associated with the Kinahan crime cartel. A mobile home worth €20,000 ($21,603), an Audemars Piguet watch also worth €20,000 and €21,000 ($22,683) held in a credit union account were seized by the agency.