BY DAYO ADESULU
Seized 1,981 Bitcoin from drug trafficking-related criminal investigations valued at $75m is ready for sale as Bitcoin Price fluctuates between $38,000 and $40,000
Finland’s customs had in 2016 seized 1,981 bitcoins from drug trafficking-related criminal investigations.
As Bitcoin price soars right now, Finnish Customs is contemplating on whether to sell the bitcoins and handover the money to the Ministry of Finance or destroy the coins.
Finland explained that in the Customs Act, the country has the option of handing over the bitcoins to another government agency or some other party or destroying them.
The country has however concluded that destroying or handing over the bitcoins to third pary is not realiseable exept to sell them.
Bitcoin.com reports quoting report by one Finnish broadcaster as saying that the confiscated bitcoins had an estimated value of $800,000 at the time of the seizure in 2016.
It added that with bitcoin now trading above $38,000, Finnish Customs may well get over $75 million if the coins are sold at current prices.
Meanwhile, the same report quotes an official with Finnish Customs explaining the process that preceded the decision to sell. The official, Pekka Pylkkänen, reveals the other options that were examined by Finnish Customs before the final decision was made. Pylkkänen explains:
Prior to the latest decision to offload the seized BTC, Finnish Customs officials had similarly planned to auction the digital assets in 2018. However, this plan was ultimately abandoned.
In the meantime, Pylkkänen, who admits that the “risk of diversion of funds to the criminal market still exists,” explains that the decision to proceed with the sale had to be made because “under customs legislation, it (Finnish Customs) has no choice but to sell the assets.”
The official adds that Finnish Customs plans to sell the digital assets on its own or via an intermediary. He emphasizes that the “bitcoins will be sold as soon as possible.”