The United Kingdom has introduced a bill that would enable its law enforcement agencies to “seize, freeze and recover” crypto assets, to prevent cyber crime and money laundering.
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The reforms to the governmental Companies House, including issues beyond crypto, are its biggest in 170 years, the government said in a statement on Thursday.
“Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing UK company structures, and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies,” said Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency. “These reforms — long awaited and much welcomed — will help us crack down on both.”
The Metropolitan Police, in July last year, had reportedly seized cryptocurrencies worth 180 million British pounds (US$249 million) linked to money laundering, as well as 114 million pounds worth of crypto in June.
Regulators and government officials around the world are tightening their oversight on the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and to protect investor funds.
While India’s financial crime fighting agency is investigating over 10 cryptocurrency exchanges for allegedly laundering more than 10 billion rupees (US$125 million), Thailand’s capital markets regulator has prohibited cryptocurrency companies from offering depository services.
See related article: New UK PM, finance minister have previously supported crypto, blockchain