Updated: Apr 29
Earlier this year the Belgian Government seized about $430,000 worth of Bitcoin during a Dark Web drug trafficking investigation. The Belgian Government successfully sold the seized funds on February 28, 2019, in an online auction run by a Wilsons Auctions, an Irish company. It was one of the first countries to enact laws governing the liquidation of seized cryptocurrency.
Governments keep an eye on the timing of the auction of seized bitcoins. The Australian Government kept an eye on cryptocurrency market fluctuations to determine the best time to auction off funds seized in 2013 in the crackdown and arrest of a man who was convicted of the illegal sales of drugs online. In 2015 they contracted the services of Ernst & Young to handle the auction of a collection of about $826,795 worth of bitcoin.
In May 2018, Israeli police seized about $8.5 million in Bitcoin acquired in a vast money-laundering scheme. Hilmi Git was alleged to have committed over 20,000 illegal transactions and used the Bitcoin network to launder the proceeds. Git was charged with laundering the proceeds, credit card fraud, and carrying out fraudulent trade activity. Git’s Bitcoin wallet is being held and secured, pending the outcome of Git’s criminal trial.