Cops in Belarus wants authorization to seize crypto from criminals

The U.S. has no problem seizing and selling cryptocurrency if the government feels it has been used for illicit activity. Other countries, like Finland, are a little confused about what to do, believing that selling digital assets will only allow them to fall back into the hands of criminals. However, with potentially millions of dollars at stake, selling the seized assets like property makes perfect sense, and law enforcement officials in Belarus apparently feel the same way. A national organization of state law enforcement departments is getting behind federal legislation that would authorize them to legally seize crypto from criminals. 

Local news outlet CTV reports that the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus, an organization comprised of state law enforcement agencies, is supporting a new legal push that would give them the right to seize digital assets as a result of criminal arrests and prosecution. There are a number of crypto-related laws on the books, but none specifically addresses what should happen with crypto in the event it is part of an enforcement action. 

The head of the investigative committee, Ivan Noskevich, explained yesterday to CTV that law enforcement faces challenges when it comes to crypto assets. As a result, the new initiative would rewrite existing criminal precedence in order to legally authorize the assets’ seizure when found to have been used in connection to the crime. 

Noskevich explains, “Rulemaking is one of the important directions in the work of the Investigative Committee. We regularly make proposals for legislative changes, especially in the criminal sphere, that is, in the part that concerns us in particular. I believe that an important suggestion today is the opinion of the Investigative Committee about the possibility of seizing cryptocurrency during the criminal process. Decree No. 8 allows us to make such a proposal, since, already in the course of criminal investigation, we are faced with situations where the subject of the crime is cryptocurrency, or there is a need to seize it from persons who have committed mercenary crimes.”

He added, “We’ve encountered such cases before, but there was no legal regulation of the mechanism for seizing cryptocurrency. I hope that the legislators will listen to the opinion of the Investigative Committee, and such amendments will be introduced into the criminal procedure legislation.”

In many countries, law enforcement has been authorized to auction off seized property tied to criminal activity once perpetrators are found guilty. The money helps support the law enforcement departments, and crypto should be included in that practice. 

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