The Western Australian Police Force seized AUD1.5 million (almost $1 million) worth of digital currency in a drug bust, which is believed to be the largest crypto seizer by the authorities.
Announced on Wednesday by the Australian Border Force (ABF), the authorities nabbed two people – a 27-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman – for attempted importation of MDMA.
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The perpetrators concealed the drugs in a children’s toy painting kit, which were detected by the ABF officers while screening international mail at the Perth Gateway Facility. 27.5g of MDMA tablets and 27.5g of MDMA powder were found in a package sent from the United Kingdom, which was destined for an address in the Perth metropolitan area.
Drugs and crypto
At the premises of the accused, the authorities found and seized an electronic device, storing cryptocurrency worth 1.5 million Australian dollars.
Mentioning the drug bust and seize of crypto, Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Matthews, officer in charge of the drug and firearm squad, said: “While WA Police Force has seized millions of dollars’ worth of physical property and bank account assets in the course of several drug investigations, particularly those involving established criminal networks, the identification and freezing of over [AUD] $1.5million of cryptocurrency in these circumstances highlights the current digital environment in which law enforcement agencies must operate.”
This cryptocurrency seizure is believed to be the highest value seizure of its kind made by the Western Australia Police Force.
“Using the latest technologies and digital forensic techniques we thoroughly investigate all possible methods of holding financial assets, and will target all forms of wealth that may be derived from the illicit drug trade,” Matthews added.
The two accused were charged with two counts of possession of drugs with the intent of selling and supply.
Earlier this year, two crypto exchanges in Australia were forced to shut operations by the authorities for their connection with organized crime rings.