Police in the Netherlands seized cryptocurrency and NFTs during an investigation into illegal data sales this week in a first for that nation.
Crypto and NFTs Were Seized
Dutch police have seized NFTs and crypto assets, according to a statement from the country’s law enforcement dated Mar. 30.
The article says that Dutch police seized those tokens as part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal trade of private data.
Two male suspects, 23 and 19 years old, were arrested this week as they are suspected to have sold private data for use in scams and fraud. Police said that they found “a large amount of data” and determined that the team had been in operation for years.
Dutch police did not reveal the amount of cryptocurrency that they seized. However, earlier figures indicate that Dutch police seized €35 million ($39 million) in cryptocurrencies last year.
Police also did not indicate the number of NFTs that were seized or their market value. Instead, they noted that NFTs are often high value, and are in “some cases worth millions of euros.”
First NFT Seizure for the Netherlands
Police added that this seizure marks “the first time that NFTs have been seized by a Dutch investigative service.”
Though this is the first seizure of its kind in the Netherlands, at least one other country has made a similar seizure. The U.K. made its first seizure of NFTs this year in a $1.9 million tax fraud case.
Meanwhile, seizures of cryptocurrencies are commonplace, both in the Netherlands and globally. In February, U.S. authorities seized $3.6 billion of Bitcoin related to the Bitfinex hack. In November, the U.K. seized $667,000 of crypto connected to Silk Road.
Over $14 trillion of cryptocurrencies and $23 billion of NFTs circulated last year. Law enforcement will likely monitor these assets even more closely if and when trading volumes increase.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.