Chinese Police Freeze $160M in Crypto Funds Using Court Order
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Chinese Police Freeze $160M in Crypto Funds Using Court Order

Through a collaboration with a cryptocurrency issuer, Chinese police seized and confiscated $160 million in crypto tied to a gambling platform.
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Chinese authorities confiscated illegal cryptocurrency funds for the first time on record through a court order. Per local reports, the police seized $160 million worth of crypto after asking “a virtual currency issuer” to freeze the funds.

China Arrested Three Suspects for Running Gambling Platform

Chinese authorities seized $160 million in crypto funds from a gambling platform through a court ruling. The case marks the first time China confiscated crypto assets using a court ruling, the local news outlet Toutiao reported.

According to Toutiao, Chinese prosecutors launched that after investigating the gambling platform, they discovered that all transactions were settled using digital currencies. The authorities then tracked the fund flows, ultimately freezing multiple crypto accounts involved in the transactions. In addition to confiscating funds, the police detained three individuals after locating them overseas.

China, one of the biggest crypto manpower hubs in Asia, banned all forms of gambling in 1949 after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The ban was implemented as part of the government’s efforts to combat social issues related to gambling, promote social stability, and discourage illegal activities associated with the practice.

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China Likely Collaborated With a Stablecoin Issuer to Freeze the Funds

As noted earlier, the case marks the first time China confiscated illegal crypto funds through a court order. But what’s even more interesting is the manner the assets were seized.

Namely, Toutiao’s report states that the task force leading the investigation contacted “the virtual currency issuer” to freeze the suspects’ crypto accounts. In other words, it suggests that the government likely collaborated with a stablecoin issuer, such as Tether or Circle, rather than directly seizing funds through a police raid.

The report also said the court order to freeze the funds was issued by the People’s Court of Shayang County in October 2022. The three suspects were detained in December 2022 as part of an overseas arrest operation, after which they were sent back to China.

In September 2022, the Chinese police arrested a major criminal group suspected of laundering $5.6 million worth of crypto money. The action was a part of the country’s 100-day campaign against money laundering activities.

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Do you think we could see more cases of collaboration between governments and crypto firms aimed at fighting illicit activities? Let us know in the comments below.