A cannabis dealer forfeited about $ 3 million worth of bitcoins after they were seized by the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau. However, a larger stash of 6,000 Bitcoins belonging to him, valued at around $ 200 million at current price, is still inaccessible to the office.
Irish authority sells seized Bitcoin
Cannabis retailer Clifton Collins has forfeited approximately $ 3 million worth of bitcoins previously seized by the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), Sunday World reported last week. Collins reportedly has two supplies of bitcoin. He agreed to the seizure of the first, smaller warehouse in Bray Circuit Court in late December when the office told a judge it had sold the cryptocurrency.
Collins began growing cannabis full-time around 2005. He rented real estate across Ireland including a house in Galway to grow his marijuana crop. He harvested, packaged and sold them in Dublin. He used the proceeds to buy Bitcoin in late 2011 and early 2012. Police arrested him in Galway in 2017, confiscated some of his bitcoins and was sentenced to five years in prison. The CAB told Collins that he could not keep his coins and that the state was entitled to them because they were bought for the proceeds of crime.
CAB lawyers received orders in late December to seize the money from the sale of Collins 89 bitcoins, as well as cash and assets made from the profits of its cannabis grow houses. The publication conveyed:
Collins presented a ‘mnemonic’ key containing 85 bitcoins and a code for another 4 that he had given his father shortly after his arrest.
Judge Alex Owens allowed the 89 bitcoins to be sold after concerns about hacking and the sharp fluctuation in the price of the cryptocurrency emerged. Sergeant Pat Lynch told the judge that Collins accepts that the bitcoins are the proceeds of crime and that he doesn’t mind their being sold.
However, there is another stash of 6,000 BTC that the office claims to have confiscated, although it still has no access to it. That supply is now worth about $ 200 million.
Upon his arrest, Collins told the CAB that the information needed to gain access to the coins was scribbled on a piece of paper and hidden in a fishing rod that was in the Galway house. He directed the CAB officers to find the fishing rod, but when police looked for it, it was missing and no one knew where it was.
As a result, several theories emerged as to where the rod might be, including that it was stolen during an alleged break-in on the property, sent to a waste incineration plant in China after the landlord cleared the house, or otherwise relocated. However, according to the news agency, the CAB believes it is only a matter of time before computer advances allow access to the 6,000 bitcoins.
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