Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.
The U.K. introduced a bill to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to seize, freeze and recover crypto assets when used for criminal activities such as money laundering, drugs and cybercrime,Thursday.
The 250-page Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill,in May, was introduced by the and covers more than just crypto. It had its first reading in the House of Commons on Thursday, with the second reading scheduled .
"Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing U.K. company structures, and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies," Graeme Biggar, director general of thesaid in the statement. "These reforms – long awaited and much welcomed – will help us crack down on both."
Even without the bill, the authorities have not been powerless. London's Metropolitan Police seized a record 180 million British pounds (US$200 million) of crypto linked to international money laundering in July of last year following a 114 million-pound haul in June,.
The bill is designed to build on the earlier Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act that helped regulators place sanctions against Russia and freeze relevant assets in the country. Regulators have been concerned that some Russians have been using crypto to avoid sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine.