More Than $1m Worth Of BTC Confiscated In Canada

More Than $1m Worth Of BTC Confiscated In Canada

On Wednesday, an alleged drug dealer named Matthew Phan was ordered by a Canadian judge to forfeit approximately $1.4 million worth of Bitcoin as part of an ongoing investigation.

Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly ordered the suspect to hand over 281.41 Bitcoin. This comes after evidence showed he had been using the digital currency to buy weapons and illegal drugs on the dark web.

The Toronto Star reported that Phan had pleaded guilty to attempting to import a gun and being in the possession of a number of illegal narcotics such as PCP, cocaine and ketamine in the December of last year.

Incredibly, Matthew disputed that he should be allowed to keep half of the Bitcoin, explaining that not all of the cryptocurrency was used for unlawful purposes. He said that he used some Bitcoin to buy and sell gold and that he also sold the asset on numerous exchanges. The judge never doubted that he traded Bitcoin, but refused to believe the evidence that the suspect gave for owning such a large amount of the currency.

She said:

“There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that Mr. Phan was using the dark markets to purchase illegal items such as firearms and silencers,” Kelly continued, “It is clear from the evidence found during searches, particularly of his condominium unit, that he was conducting a large sales operation of illegal narcotics.”

“It is a reasonable inference to draw that payment for such illegal narcotics sales was made using Bitcoin that was found in the digital wallet on Mr. Phan’s computer using the online marketplaces Evolution and Agora, which are used to buy and sell contraband,”

Astonishingly, Phan will be able to keep 7.23 BTC, which at the time of writing is worth approximately $36140.60. Despite still being suspicious, the judge was not entirely convinced that this amount was used for illicit activities.

Back in 2015, Police searched the supposed drug dealer’s computer and found 288 BTC which was worth around $65,885 at the time. This value exceeded $5 million back in late 2017.

Phan’s BTC value has increased by over $500k since the hearing in February and is still awaiting sentencing.

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