Finland custom looks to sell seized bitcoin. Finland’s customs officials have announced plans to sell 1,981 bitcoins confiscated largely in conjunction with criminal operations linked to drug trafficking. Most of the seized bitcoins (1,666) are from the case of Douppikauppa, the founder of darknet that was arrested in 2016.
A report by a Finnish broadcaster states that the seized bitcoins was well worth $800,000 at the time of the seizure. However, with bitcoin now trading above $38,000, Finnish Customs may well receive a good $75 million if the coins are sold at current prices.
The same report quotes an official with Finnish Customs explaining the process that preceded the decision to sell. The official, Pekka Pylkkänen, disclosed the other options examined by Finnish Customs before the final decision was made. Pylkkänen explains “On behalf of the Customs Act, we had the option of handing them over to another government agency or some other party and destroying them. (However) we came to the conclusion that alternatives other than sales are not realistic.”
Pylkkänen, who admits that the “risk of diversion of funds to the criminal market still exists,” explains that the decision to carry on with the sale had to be made because “under customs legislation, it (Finnish Customs) has no choice but to sell the assets.”
The official adds that Finnish Customs plans to sell the digital assets on its own or via an intermediary. He stresses that the “bitcoins will be sold as soon as possible.”
[image: Joakim Honkasalo]