UK passes legislation to seize, freeze, and recover cryptocurrency.

A previous legislation that assisted authorities in imposing sanctions against Russia is what the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill is supposed to build upon.

The government said Thursday that the U.K. has tabled a bill to make it simpler for law enforcement authorities to confiscate, freeze, and reclaim cryptocurrency assets when they are used for illegal activities including money laundering, drug trafficking, and cybercrime.

The Home Office, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Serious Fraud Office, and Treasury introduced the 250-page Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill, which extends beyond cryptocurrency and was initially promised in May. The House of Commons held its first reading on Thursday, and the second reading is slated on October 13.

Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency, stated in the statement that “domestic and foreign criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by misusing U.K. corporate structures, and are increasingly employing cryptocurrencies.” “These reforms—long overdue and warmly welcomed—will aid in our efforts to stifle both.”

The authorities have not been helpless even without the law. Following a 114 million pound haul in June, the London Metropolitan Police recovered a record 180 million British pounds (US$200 million) in cryptocurrency related to international money laundering in July of last year, according to the BBC.

The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, which enabled regulators impose sanctions on Russia and freeze related assets there, served as a foundation for the new legislation. Regulators are worried that some Russians are using cryptocurrencies to get around the restrictions put in place after their invasion of Ukraine.

Early this month, the Treasury amended its instructions to follow other countries’ lead and require cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers to disclose suspected sanctions violations. Both the United States and the European Union made it clear that crypto is covered by their sanctions policies.

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