The Finnish customs authority is seemingly at a crossed road after confiscating 1,666BTC (currently worth about €15 million) years ago. With the bitcoin now in its custody, the agency does not know what to do with the cryptocurrency.
The customs seized the coins in a major drug bust, which was valued at less than €700,000 at that time. The authority is still yet to convert the funds into euro, according to sources familiar with the matter.
They had lately decided to auction the stash of bitcoin, but the agency thinks it is a bad idea. They reversed the decision as they believe the BTC could return to the criminals.
Pekka Pylkkänen, the Customs’ finance director, explained saying that;
From our point of view, the problems are specifically related to the risk of money laundering. The buyers of [cybercurrency] rarely use them for normal endeavors.
Reports from local news media show that the Finnish Customs department had also acquired millions of euros in other cryptocurrencies during their investigations on other criminal cases in past years. This has made the agency to believe that criminals are more fond of using digital currencies than legal users, which is a reason behind the fear of the authority.
Since bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies do not require a centralized party before they can be used, individuals are prone to use them illegally. However, the country’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) officially launched measures to regulate Finland’s cryptocurrency sector in May 2019.
Customs has no interest in holding the Bitcoin
Customs’ Pylkkänen said that they have to take matters of their security into consideration. He further explained that their point of concern is that they do not want the sales of the BTC to attract the wrong kind of attention.
According to him, they do not have any plan of holding unto the bitcoin till its value takes a likely inevitable tumble despite its usual fluctuation that has resulted in a significant rise in its value, which would likely turn out to be a benefit to them.
He made it clear that the customs do not have a personal interest in the money by announcing that even if the agency were to sell off the bitcoin, the money would only be funneled into the “state’s bottomless treasury.”