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UK: Seizure of 3 NFTs linked to a fraud of 1.4 million pounds sterling

Let this serve as an example. This is roughly the message from HMRC after the seizure of 3 NFTs that served as a cover for tax fraud in the United Kingdom. A first for this organization whose main mission is to apply the law… and to unmask any fraudulent act in the country.

UK: Seizure of 3 NFTs linked to a fraud of 1.4 million pounds sterling

This is how Nick Sharp, deputy director in charge of economic crime at HMRC, warned other people wanting to play hide and seek with the British economic authorities.

It wouldn't matter without the admission of a 3 NFT seizure, the first of its kind, by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. On occasion, she got her hands on an alleged VAT fraud worth £1.4 million, or $1.9 million. It was necessary to carry out an investigation to lead to these results crowned with the arrest of three suspects.

HMRC explains how they operated  :

– they tried to claim additional VAT, exceeding their due;

– they concealed their identity through a myriad of stolen identities, unregistered telephones or even false invoices;

– they were covering their tracks by resorting to around 250 alleged fictitious companies.

Except they ran into the finer minds of HMRC officers. Their representative relies on periodic technological updates in the exercise of their profession.

"  We are constantly adapting to new technologies to ensure that we keep pace with how criminals and escapees seek to hide their assets  ," said Sharp.

NFT, ups and downs

non-fungible tokens form genuine digital assets associated with holding virtual items like a video game character, artwork, photos, etc. Which are based on blockchain technology, large digital registers propelling cryptocurrencies.

In recent times, more specifically in 2021, the NFT market has exploded to the point of generating a turnover of 40 billion dollars in the same period. Unfortunately, this market is invaded by thieves and scammers at present. Some observers fear the emergence of market manipulation practices such as wash trading with respect to trading activities related to these digital assets.


From America to UK

Cases of cryptocurrency and NFT seizures and arrests are becoming common these days. We will certainly mention the recent achievements of the American and Chinese authorities against malicious persons. In the United States alone, the value of bitcoins seized has reached over $3.6 billion. The fishing looked good after the recovery of assets stolen in 2016 from Bitfinex.

The seizure made by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs agency concerns 3 NFTs (not yet valued), and other crypto-assets worth £5,000.

David Carlisle of Ellipitc welcomes the action. For him, this demonstrates that it is impossible to evade authorities in the crypto world.


He also added:

“  Law enforcement agencies are able to track and trace the transactions of criminals, and seize NFTs and crypto-assets used in illicit activities, depriving criminals of their profits. »

What lesson can we draw from this experience? David Carlisle understood it well: it is impossible to hide or conceal anything in the cryptosphere.


Source: CNBC

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