Law enforcement agency in Ireland has been granted permission to issue about 86 seized Bitcoins (BTC) on sale. The Bitcoins in question were confiscated from a drug dealer in the country earlier in 2020. Meanwhile, these Bitcoins represent only a tiny fraction of the total cryptocurrencies bought by the drug dealer between 2011 and 2012.
CAB to bag about $800,000 from seized Bitcoins
As Herald.ie reported today, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was permitted to sell 86 seized Bitcoins from 49-year-old Clifton Collins, which is worth $804,960 at the time of writing. The decision to sell the cryptocurrencies follows the concerns of its high fluctuation in value and the possibility of being hacked.
Meanwhile, over $56 million in Bitcoin is feared to be lost forever, as the law enforcement agency is unable to access the password to 6,000 Bitcoins belonging to Collins. As the High Court explained in the report, Collins purchased those Bitcoins between 2011 and 2012 using the money he gained from planting cannabis.
Fast forward to 2017, the total value of the cryptocurrencies rose significantly, so that he got worried about being hacked. Thus, he moved the 6,000 BTCs to 12 different wallet addresses. He reportedly kept the passphrase in an aluminum lid of a fishing rod case at the house he rented in Farnaught, Cornamona, Co Galway.
Unfortunately, after his arrest for growing a large portion of cannabis, the owner of the house he rented moved off his properties, from which the passphrase was lost. The CAB only seized a smaller amount of Bitcoins and cash that could be accessed. However, it obtained an order to freeze the other Bitcoins from being moved without the Court’s permission.
Court approves sale of Collins’ seized Bitcoin at once
When seeking for the order to sell-off 86 seized Bitcoins from the drug dealer, Mr. Justice Owens at the High Court approved it. He added that “the State can do whatever one does with these wretched things.” Sergeant Pat Lynch went on to say that those Bitcoins were purchased using proceeds from crime; hence he does not have any objection for them not to be sold.