The Dutch public prosecution department now has the ability to seize virtual currency such as bitcoins from criminals and place them in its own digital purse, Trouw reports on Wednesday.
Trouw says criminals have long thought there was no of monitoring virtual currencies and that bitcoins were an easy way to store cash because they were outside the reach of the police.
The paper says legally it is harder to confiscate virtual objects than cars and other concrete possessions but that recent court rulings have changed this.
‘If you want to confiscate something, it has to be an actual object,’ Roy Appels, head of the deparment’s sequestration department, told the paper.
However, now three courts have ruled bitcoins can be considered as objects, they can be included in seizures made during investigations, he said.
Once the bitcoins have been transferred to the justice ministry they are immediately cashed in. So far several hundred pieces of the virtual currency have been confiscated, worth several hundred thousand euros.
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