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UK Bill Will Make It Easier to Seize Crypto in Money Laundering Cases

 |  October 31, 2022

A proposed law in the UK will make it easier for law enforcement to seize, freeze and recover cryptocurrency used by criminals to launder profits from illegal activity.

The bill, introduced into the British Parliament on Thursday (Sept. 22), is designed to crack down on “kleptocrats, organized criminals and terrorists,” according to a news release on the UK government website.

According to the release, the use of digital currencies has increased substantially in the past few years, with the Metropolitan Police logging a significant rise in crypto seizures last year.

Related: EU Announces Final Text Of Crypto-Assets Regulations

“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,” the release said.

The release says the measures will add to the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, introduced following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The law gives Companies House — the UK’s registrar of companies — new powers to “check, challenge and decline incorrect or fraudulent information, making it a more active gatekeeper over company creation,” the release said.

In addition, Companies House will get upgraded enforcement and investigation powers, letting it cross-check data with public and private partners, and report suspicious activity to security agencies and law enforcement.