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The UK’s House of Lords passed a bill allowing stolen cryptocurrencies to be seized. The bill will now enter the final stages of approval by the House of Commons.
The United Kingdom’s House of Lords agreed to amendments to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill that was introduced in September 2022. The bill aims to allow authorities to crack down on illicit crypto usage. The bill’s primary goal is to address cryptocurrency-related financial crimes.
Amendments to Clarify Bill’s Intent
During its revision, the House agreed to amendments seeking to clarify the bill’s intent to target proceeds from fraud and other financial crimes. The bill further aims to introduce provisions for corporate transparency and the registration of overseas businesses.
The bill was first introduced in September 2022 and aims to guide law enforcement agencies to regard crypto as a critical component of evidence in criminal investigations. The bill, if approved, will also make it easier for legitimate projects and companies to be recognised and gain support by ousting illicit projects, abusing sponsorships and patronage available to the industry.
The bill will also make registration stricter and improve transparency requirements for the limited partnerships available in the UK to prevent the abuse of money laundering and other criminal activities.
Authorities May Seize and Freeze Cryptocurrencies
In its final stage, the UK House of Commons will either accept the amendments or recommend that changes be made to the bill. If the bill gains approval, it will be signed into law through royal assent.
The House of Lords approved a previous version of the bill only two months ago after it received overwhelming support. At the time, it was reported that under the bill’s provisions, authorities can seize and freeze cryptocurrencies suspected to be associated with criminal activities. The bill is dedicated to addressing the growing trend of crypto being exploited by criminals to launder money, conduct fraud, and other illicit activities.
When the bill was first introduced, Director General of the National Crime Agency, Graeme Biggar, said:
“Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing UK company structures, and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies. These reforms – long awaited and much welcomed – will help us crack down on both.”
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