An Irish drug dealer has lost €55 million ($59 million) in bitcoin after his landlord accidentally threw away a case containing the codes to access his wallets.
According to a report by the Irish Times, 49-year-old Dubliner Clifton Collins amassed a fortune in bitcoin between 2011 and 2012 using funds obtained from illegally growing and selling marijuana. Collins purchased more than 6,000 BTC, which was trading for less than $5 at the time.
Collins was arrested in 2017 for the possession and sale of cannabis and sentenced to five years in prison. Prior to his arrest, he had hidden the codes for twelve separate bitcoin wallets, each containing 500 BTC, inside the aluminium cap of a case containing his fishing rod. The case was stored in his rented home in Farnaught, Cornamona, Co Galway.
Collins’s landlord eventually sent the majority of his possessions to the local landfill during his prison stay, including the fishing rod case containing the secret codes.
While Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has since confiscated the twelve accounts, the €55 million in bitcoin is inaccessible without the codes. Workers at the local dump told officers they remember seeing discarded fishing gear, however, the waste was eventually moved to Germany and China.
Collins says that he has come to terms with the loss of his funds, and regards it as punishment for his actions.