The UK Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has arrested a 35-year old woman and seized over $150,000 worth of Bitcoin as part of an investigation into fraudulent applications for government-backed loans for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
MPS Seized $150K Worth Of BTC
The MPS (or Met) announced that the Proactive Money Laundering Team had investigated a 35-year old woman for illegally acquiring substantial amounts of government-backed funds and using them to purchase Bitcoin.
Upon receiving a search warrant, Met officers, assisted by Suffolk Constabulary’s Proactive Crime Team, raided the woman’s residential address in Ipswich. They found several children left at the address on their own. The authorities located the suspect nearby and arrested her on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, and child neglect.
The police interviewed the woman and released her on August 12th while the investigation proceeds. However, Met officers successfully applied to a London magistrates’ court on August 13th for the detention of £115,000 ($150,000) worth of Bitcoin held in a digital wallet belonging to the suspect.
According to the statement, the woman had established multiple mule bank accounts used to receive the proceeds of fraudulent applications for “Bounce Back Loans.” Those loans are a part of a program launched by the UK government to assist small businesses suffering from the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.
After receiving the funds in the mule bank accounts, the Met officers traced them as she purchased Bitcoin.
Detective Sergeant Ian Barrett urged people to be more cautious about providing personal and banking information online or over the phone.
“For people to take advantage of government support available to those who really need it in these unprecedented times is appalling.” – he added.
The US DOJ Seized Millions In BTC
As CryptoPotato reported yesterday, three major US government agencies, namely the FBI, the IRS, and the HSI, seized over 300 cryptocurrency accounts containing massive amounts of Bitcoin from al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Hamas.
The three terrorist groups got the funds by raising substantial donations from believers or impersonating legitimate organizations to dupe people into sending BTC. They also reassured their supporters that all Bitcoin transactions were entirely anonymous.
However, that’s not the case, and the US agencies managed to trace and ultimately seize the cryptocurrency accounts belonging to the terrorists.
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