‘Seize, Freeze, and Recover’ crypto: UK Govt introduces bill  to combat unlawful activities <br><br>

The United Kingdom government introduced a bill on 22 Sept

‘Seize, Freeze, and Recover’ crypto: UK Govt introduces bill  to combat unlawful activities

The United Kingdom government introduced a bill on 22 Sept to ‘seize, freeze and recover’ crypto assets when used for illegal purposes. The aim of the legislation is to expand the authority of law enforcement agencies to combat money laundering and criminal or fraudulent activities. 

The 250-page Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill was introduced by the lawmakers in Parliament to drive “dirty money” out of the country, and it includes provisions for more than just crypto. The legislation includes the provision on cutting the “red tape around confidentiality liability” and grants respective rights to authorities “to compel businesses to hand over information which could be related to money laundering or terrorist financing,” including crypto.

The bill will help tighten the registration and transparency requirements that will further prevent limited partnerships from being abused. This also covers those registered in Scotland for money laundering and other unlawful activities.

The government announced, “The new law will make it easier and quicker for law enforcement agencies such as the National Crime Agency to seize, freeze and recover crypto assets — the digital currency increasingly used by organized criminals to launder profits from fraud, drugs and cybercrime. Strengthening powers in the Proceeds of Crime Act will modernize the legislation to ensure agencies can keep pace with the rapid technological change and prevent assets from funding further criminality.”

Director General of the U.K.’s National Crime Agency, Graeme Biggar said, “Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing U.K. company structures, and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies. These reforms — long-awaited and much welcomed — will help us crack down on both.”

The first announcement of the bill to “tackle illicit finance, reduce economic crime and help businesses grow” was made by King Charles in the month of May during the Queen’s speech to both houses of the U.K. Parliament when he was still the prince. Additionally, the U.K.’s Economic and Finance Ministry has been aspiring to integrate stablecoins as a form of payment into its regulatory framework.

As mentioned on the UK Gov. website the Bill states the following:

“The Bill will provide additional powers to law enforcement so they are able to more quickly and easily seize and recover crypto assets which are the proceeds of crime or associated with illicit activity such as money laundering, fraud and ransomware attacks.

The Bill will principally amend both criminal confiscation powers in Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) and civil recovery powers in Part 5 of POCA to enable enforcement agencies to more effectively tackle criminal use of crypto assets.”