Bulgarian government seizes 200,000 bitcoins worth around $3 billion
Bulgarian authorities are now in the possession of a high amount in bitcoins. Following a crackdown on organized crime, the authorities in this European country seized 200,000 bitcoins. The investigation was conducted in May.
Now, the seized bitcoin are worth no less than $3 billion. The Southeast European Law Enforcement Center stated that it seized a total of 213,519 bitcoins over the course of May, 2017. The Southeast European Law Enforcement Center is a regional organization formed by 12 member states, of course, including Bulgaria.
23 people were arrested for customs fraud scam
The same investigation led the arrest of 23 people, all Bulgarians, for customs fraud scams. When the crackdown was conducted, the authorities stated that the criminals involved in the case decided to work with bitcoins, as they are difficult to track and follow.
The authorities also said that for the scheme to work, the criminals actually bribed some agents at the Bulgarian Customs. The agents uploaded a virus to government machines, which was subsequently used to hack into the authorities' computers. The hackers were able to skip paying fees when transporting goods into Bulgaria.
Allegedly, the criminals managed to avoid paying around $6 million because of this scheme. Following the investigation and the arrest of those involved, Bulgarian authorities remained in the possession of an impressive amount in bitcoins.
For the moment, it is not clear what the authorities plan on doing with the seized bitcoins. Of course, the value of the bitcoins seized has also increased throughout the months. The seizure occurred in May when the bitcoin was valued at $2,354. Now, it costs over $15,000.