Bitcoin and other digital currencies are always looked down upon by governments and law enforcement authorities. According to their perception, these digital currencies are de facto illegitimate and they tend to think that digital currency are generally proceeds of crime.
Recently, the Scotland based bitcoin trader, Max Flores got back his money which was seized by the law enforcement agencies earlier in May. The funds belonging to Max Flores was seized by invoking a certain legislation generally used in drug related investigations. The whole incident is said to have started after the bank he has his account with filed a suspicious activity report against him. However, he has not received any explanation regarding it, either from the bank or the police.
The court has earlier given permission to the law enforcement authorities to hold the money for a period of three months pending investigation on alleged money laundering. Max Flores was able to get the money back last month only after appealing against the court’s decision to withhold the money and informing yet again about his involvement in bitcoin trading. In order to get his GBP 5500 back, he claims to have lost over GBP 1200 in legal fees.
Max also informed that during the course of investigation, the police had claimed that he has been falsely claiming housing benefits. Max Flores’ case happens to be the first of its kind in Scotland. Even though using bitcoin is not illegal, it is what people choose to do that decides whether the transactions are illegal or not.
In relation to the case, the Crown Office has cleared the air about the legality of bitcoin. In a statement, the spokesperson for Crown Office has stated that bitcoin trading is perfectly legal and certain suspicions raised about the nature of Max Flores’ transactions forced the authorities to conduct investigation. The office doesn’t have any objections in returning the cash seized as the investigations have shown no wrongdoing on Max Flores’ behalf.
Image source- Herald Scotland