Finnish customs sells $47 million in seized bitcoins and will donate the proceeds to Ukraine

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Finnish customs authorities announced that they recently sold confiscated products Bitcoin worth 46.5 million euros ($47.35 million).

According to a Press release Issued today, the 1,889.1 in Bitcoin was confiscated mostly in raids prior to 2018. The loot was seized in narcotics attacks and transferred to state control via court orders, but appears been the subject of long deliberations about what to do with it.

In July 2021, the Finnish customs agency Tulli launched tender for brokers who wanted to sell seized crypto on behalf of the state.

Bitcoin hit the peak of its 2021 bull run soon after and set a new all-time high of $68,790 on November 10. At this price, the Finnish state Bitcoin reserve could have brought in nearly $130 million.

However, the tender was only resolved in April this year, when two companies were chosen to carry out the sale.

Tulli also says he has other seized cryptocurrencies in his possession, but these amount to “a few hundred thousand euros at most”. Another 90 Bitcoins (worth around $2 million) remain in the agency’s possession, pending court rulings.

In April this year, Finnish Finance Minister Annika Saarikko tweeted that the country will donate”Tens of millions” of euros earned from the sale of Bitcoin confiscated from Ukraine, following the invasion of the country by Russia.

A spokesman for the customs agency said Decrypt that, “As far as Finnish Customs is aware, the total sales revenue will be donated to Ukraine and the donation has already been approved by the Finnish Parliament as part of the second supplementary budget this summer.”

Seized bitcoin sales

Finland is not the only country to have sold seized bitcoins to criminals. Across the Atlantic, the US Marshals Service claims to have sold 187,381 bitcoins seized from nine auctions since 2014, but declined to report profits in dollars. NBC estimates that should have been $179 million of these sales.

In March 2021, the French authorities auctioned 611 Bitcointhen worth $34.5 million, seized during the 2019 GateHub hack investigation. Curiously, at auction, an optimistic buyer paid over $26,000 for a lot of 0.11 BTC, or a rate of $290,000 per BTC.

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