Drugs and $8.4 million in Bitcoin seized.
On August 20, Simone Fox Koob, writer for The Age magazine, reported how law enforcement authorities in Australia, more specifically in the state of Victoria, seized $8.49 million in cryptocurrencies believed to be Bitcoin. Two residents of the state of Victoria kept this large stash of Bitcoin, cash and drugs hidden. Police suspect the duo may be connected to the Silk Road marketplace.
Law enforcement and drug enforcement officials arrested a 31-year-old woman from Kinglake, north of Melbourne, and a 30-year-old man from Preston, the report said. Police seized a stash of drugs, including marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA and also prescription drugs. The couple was released pending “further investigation” , but the woman was charged with cannabis .
Australian law enforcement officials have been investigating the couple’s alleged use of the Silk Road marketplace, which closed in 2013. The two suspects were “business partners” and amassed “substantial assets,” according to the report. According to the report, two properties in Kinglake and cash were also seized, all together valued at $2 million.
Law enforcement also seized $2.6 million in cash stored in the couple’s banks and two vehicles worth about $100,000. A member of the Victoria Police Crime Command, Commander Mick Frewen, told The Age newspaper that the couple were ordinary people. “These people have not come to the attention of the police at all. They have amassed a huge fortune, using the keyboard in their own living room,” Frewen stressed. The head of the law enforcement agency added:
These are completely anonymous individuals in society … I would describe them as pretty low-key in every way. They are not normally associated with openly displayed wealth, [or have] any connection to an organized crime gang or network.
Frewen also stressed that the investigation will take some time, and law enforcement will need to gather information across jurisdictions about specific platforms. The couple faces up to 10 years in prison for the crimes, and the woman faces charges of possession of narcotics.