Finland’s Customs Department has revealed its plan to auction 1,981 Bitcoins worth nearly $76 million, seized during an arrest of a Finnish drug dealer in 2016. The officials of the Finnish Customs are planning to take advantage of the recent price rally in BTC.
According to a report by Finland’s national broadcaster Yle, the country originally planned to sell the captured Bitcoins in 2018 but dropped the plan due to funds circulation concerns. This year, the department is planning to sell the seized Bitcoins as soon as possible.
Pekka Pylkkänen, an official from the Finnish Customs has explained the process through which the officials are planning to sell the captured Bitcoins. “Customs department can sell its seized cryptocurrency either by itself or tenders an intermediary to it. Bitcoins will be sold as soon as possible, practically in the coming months. Personally, I don’t think it makes sense to explain it any further. This is no longer going to change by waiting,” Pylkkänen said.
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Governments around the world are taking strict measures against the illegal use of cryptocurrencies. In November 2020, the US authorities announced that the government seized nearly $1 billion worth of Bitcoins linked with the Silk Road darknet market.
Pylkkänen outlined the risks associated with the circulation of crypto funds into the criminal market but mentioned that the department has no other choice but to sell the Bitcoins. “Customs has concluded that, on the basis of customs legislation, it has no choice but to sell the funds. On behalf of the Customs Act, we had the option of handing them over to another government agency or someone else and destroying them. We came to the conclusion that alternatives other than sales are not realistic,” Pylkkänen.
The recent decision by the Finnish Customs officials came after the price of Bitcoin crossed $40,000. The total value of the seized Bitcoins now stands at around $76 million, a significant jump from a value of just $800,000 at the time of the seizure.