UK Lords Approve Bill Allowing Law Enforcement to Confiscate Cryptos
Summary: The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill in the UK has been approved by the House of Lords, providing law enforcement with more tools to confiscate and freeze criminals' cryptos. The bill has been altered to apply to terrorism situations and make it easier for law enforcement to confiscate property linked to crime.
Law enforcement authorities in the United Kingdom will have more tools at their disposal to confiscate and freeze criminals’ cryptocurrency after the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill was approved by the House of Lords on Tuesday.
More Power to Law Enforcement
There were no amendments made to the crypto-related parts of the bill in the House of Lords, although the bill was altered during its previous sessions to make sure its provisions applied in situations of terrorism and to make it easier for law enforcement to take property that can be used to identify crypto that has been connected to crime. In addition, a new provision was included to make it so judges may order the seizure and freezing of criminals’ crypto assets.
Curbing illicit Use of Crypto
The government said in March that preventing illicit usage of cryptocurrency will be a focus of its economic crime strategy for the next three years. The government has sent crypto tactical advisors to police forces around the country in an effort to track down and recover criminals’ digital assets.
Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency, said in a September:
“Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing U.K. company structures, and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies. These reforms – long awaited and much welcomed – will help us crack down on both.”
The last steps before a bill becomes law are completed in the House of Commons, which receives bills that have been approved by the Lords. After legislation passes through both chambers and is approved by the King, it becomes law. The two houses of Parliament may send the measure back and forth until a compromise is achieved.