According to the customs authorities in Finland, they recently sold off Bitcoin that had been seized in various operations for a value of €46.5 million, or $47 million.
Accumulated bitcoin sold
A press release disclosed that the customs authorities had accumulated 1889.1 bitcoins in raids that had been conducted before 2018. The authorities had seized the cryptocurrencies in a number of narcotic busts and court rulings had transferred the haul into state control.
However, it appears that the government had been deliberating on what to do with the seized bitcoin for quite a long time. Tulli, the customs agency in Finland, had also launched a tender in July 2021 for brokerages who were willing to sell the bitcoins they had seized on behalf of the state.
It was shortly after that the world’s leading crypto hit an all-time high value of close to $69,000 on November 10th. Had the Finnish state sold off its accumulated stash at that time, it would have managed to get a whopping $130 million for it.
But, the tender had not been completed until this year in April when they selected two companies that would be responsible for the sale of the tokens.
The customs agency in Finland had also disclosed that they had seized some other cryptocurrencies, apart from Bitcoin. However, Tulli disclosed that these cryptocurrencies were not more than hundreds of thousands of euros.
Moreover, the agency also has an additional 90 bitcoins in its possession, which is valued at $2 million at current prices, as they are still awaiting court rulings. This year in April, Annika Saarikko, the Finnish Finance Minister, announced that they would donate euros that they generate via the sale of seized bitcoins to Ukraine, as the country is currently at war with Russia since February.
A customs agency’s spokesperson also said that they are aware that the entire sales revenue that would be generated from cryptocurrencies would be donated to Ukraine and the Finnish Parliament had already given its approval for the donation this summer with the second supplementary budget. Ukraine has been asking for aid against the war with Russia and Finland has decided to help this way.
Seized bitcoin sales
It should be noted that Finland is certainly not the only country that has sold the Bitcoin that was confiscated from criminal enterprises. The US Marshals Service has also done the same, as it disclosed that they had sold about 187,381 bitcoins since 2014 via nine auctions.
However, they did not disclose the profit they had made in terms of US dollars. Estimates indicate that the profit would have been around $179 million. French authorities also did the same in March 2021 when they sold 611 bitcoins, which had been valued at $34.5 million back then.
These coins had been seized during the GateHub hack back in 2019. It was interesting to note that one buyer in this particular auction paid a price of $26,000 for about 0.11 BTC, which means that one BTC token cost $290,000.