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Finnish customs remain hesitant over selling $15m Bitcoin haul

Oliver Knight

Finnish Customs agency Tulli remains perplexed at what to do with a $15 million horde of Bitcoin that was seized from a dark web criminal in 2016.

It reportedly doesn’t want to sell it back to the public as it believes “the buyers of cryptocurrencies rarely use them for normal endeavors”.

Tulli director Pekka Pylkkanen told local media: “From our point of view, the problems are specifically related to the risk of money laundering.”

A large operation in 2016 saw the arrest of three Finnish individuals after they trafficked 40,000 ecstacy tablets, 30,000 tabs of LSD and 18 kilograms of powdered drugs into the country.

Along with the arrests, Tulli also confiscated 1,666 Bitcoin from the criminal organisation, which was at the time valued under $1 million.

The value of cryptocurrencies skyrocketed in the following two years with Bitcoin reaching a peak of $20,000 in December 2017.

However, despite the Bitcoin now being worth more than $15 million, Finnish authorities remain none-the-wiser on what to do with the digital stash and the $14m profit.

Tulli continues to be in a better position than authorities in Ireland, who last week revealed how the private keys to a £50 million Bitcoin fortune had been lost, meaning that the seized assets are now totally inaccessible.

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