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New UK Bill Hopes to Tackle Cybercrime Profits

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

The United Kingdom has introduced new legislation allowing financial institutions and law enforcement agencies to freeze crypto assets in the UK. 

According to reports, the bill intends to make the UK a place where legitimate businesses can thrive without "dirty money." 

The bill, tagged the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency, is strategically improving the country's image as an excellent place to conduct business. 

A statement made by authorities involved in the bill accused the crypto industry of creating an enabling environment for money laundering. Their statements alleged that "dirty money" can easily be used to launder profits from cybercrime and drugs. 

According to the director general for the National Crime Agency, Graeme Biggar,  "Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing U.K. company structures and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies. These reforms – long-awaited and much welcomed – will help us crack down on both."

The law enforcement authorities supporting the bill said the primary intent of the bill was to seize and recover “digital currency increasingly used by organized criminals to launder profits from fraud, drugs, and cybercrime.”

" I am delighted that today we are introducing reforms that will make it much harder for kleptocrats to shield their ill-gotten gains and treat the UK as their safe deposit box. As Security Minister, I am committed to delivering this vital piece of legislation to strengthen our fight against economic crime," Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said. 

There are many law enforcement agencies supporting the Bill. Newsvot gathered that Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Home Office, H.M. Treasury, Serious Fraud Office, and Companies House supports the bill. 

The bill was read in the House of Commons on Thursday, and the second reading is scheduled to be on the 13th of October. 

When eventually passed, a significant change in powers will occur. The Companies House will see its powers increase to more than it has had since its creation. 

"This historic Bill will equip Companies House and law enforcement with the tools they need to root out criminals attempting to hide their activities without burdening law-abiding companies with unnecessary bureaucracy. Above all, via strict enforcement measures, we are telling investors that the UK is open for legitimate business only," Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said. 

Before the New Bill, Law Enforcement Agencies had been Fighting Crypto Crimes

According to a report made by the BBC in 2021, fighting crypto-enabled cybercrime and money laundering is not new. 

The Met Police had initially seized a record £180m worth of cryptocurrency linked to intercontinental money laundering. 

It was reported that the Met Police made the record seizure after it acted on information provided by its intelligence unit. 

Concerning the seizures, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty said: "The detectives on this case have worked tirelessly and meticulously to trace millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrency suspected of being linked to criminality and now being laundered to hide the trail." 

"While cash still remains king in the criminal world, as digital platforms develop, we're increasingly seeing organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money," she said.