Suppression of the activities of an organized criminal group from the Bulgarian law enforcement bodies in may led to the seizure of more than 200 000 bitcoins – worth more than $3 billion at today’s prices.
According to a press release of the Centre of law and order in South-Eastern Europe (SELEC), of 19 may, a regional organization consisting of 12 member States, including Bulgaria, were seized 213 519 BTC.
«Offenders choose bitcoins because they are pretty hard to track,» said the investigators.
According to them, hackers have developed a virus which was used for hacking at the Bulgarian customs offices, allowing criminals to skip the shipping fees when shipping goods into the country. In General, the alleged offenders «saved» 10 million leva (the national currency of Bulgaria), which is approximately $6 million.
Currently, the fate of the seized by the Bulgarian government of bitcoins is not clear. It is noteworthy that on may 19, at the time of publication of the information on detention of malefactors, one bitcoin was worth $2 354, and the total amount seized was approximately $503 million – less than one-sixth of its value today. However, this time, the case has not received wide publicity.
According to local edition Bivol.bg, the Bulgarian government refused to comment on the situation, citing an ongoing investigation.
Recall that before the largest amount in bitcoin, seized by the government, was involved in the case of Silk Road and was about 144 000 BTC. Later, these bitcoins were sold in a series of auctions in 2015 and 2016.