According to reports, it’s official that Surrey Police is the first UK police to seize and convert the number one digital token in the world Bitcoin (BTC). However, because of existing legislation, Surrey police force had to sell the virtual currency before it recorded its all-time-high in price.
An Active Police Force Seized 295 Bitcoin (BTC) From Seregjs Teresko
In April 2017, Surrey Police reportedly seized 295 Bitcoins (BTC) held by Seregjs Teresko, now a convicted criminal. Teresko is serving a nine year jail term after been found guilty of money laundering, as well as possession and control of materials for fraudulent purposes, plus the illegal cultivation of cannabis. Law enforcement was said to have discovered a digital key which was used to access Teresko’s Bitcoin (BTC) at his Cobham property. Officials also found items like credit cards, gold bars and cash in Euros, Thai Baht and Pounds.
In a bid to exchange the Bitcoins, Surrey Police opened their Bitcoin wallet which let them transfer and convert the tokens via a foreign exchange. The law enforcement department sold the tokens in October last year. As at that time, a single Bitcoin (BTC) was worth 4,830 pounds, giving the exchange value of £1.45 million. The Surrey Police according to the law, gets to keep about 18.8 percent of proceeds made from the exchange which is £273,000 a sum that can contribute significantly to the upkeep of the department.
Ironically, only a few months after Surrey police sold the coins, Bitcoin reached its all-time-high of $20,000. Should the law enforcement department have hedl the token a little longer, they could have made up to £800,000.
According to a spokesperson from Surrey police department:
Our responsibility is to ask courts for permission to dispense our duties within the existing legal foundation and once we are given that permission, we would speculate by keeping any asset (whether Bitcoin (BTC), jewellery, or vehicle no matter the asset) seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act having in mind that it may change in value.