As the popularity of bitcoin grows, various governments across the globe have been paying attention to it, the people who invest in it, and what they do with the cryptocurrency. One of the high profile cases that have emerged has been the one of Liverpool man, Curtis Warren, famously known as the ‘Brit Pablo Escobar.’ Warren recently received a judgment from a UK court that has banned him from ever using bitcoin.
Nabbing A Notorious Criminal
Curtis Warren is a notorious criminal that had been on the UK’s radar for a long time. The 59-year-old had even been the most wanted criminal on Interpol’s list before his arrest. Warren had previously served a 12-yea sentence in the Netherlands after being caught with £125 million worth of drugs and weapons. He had then earned another 4 years in prison after kicking a fellow inmate to death.
Then again in 2009, Warren was found guilty of conspiracy to smuggle cannabis and had then been handed another 13-year prison sentence. This was the result of an organized take-down that was orchestrated against Warren who was considered to be the UK’s biggest drug dealer at one point. He had even appeared on the Sunday Times Rich List for bringing in an estimated £15 million weekly from his illicit activities.
Curtis Warren is actually set to be freed soon but the UK court system has placed strict conditions for his release. The most prominent of these is the ban from ever using Bitcoin. In addition to never being able to transact or invest in bitcoin, Warren is also banned from using the instant messaging app WhatsApp.
BTC price trending above $19,000 | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
The conditions do not end there though. Warren will have to provide a day’s notice before he can board a friend’s car or van. He will also need to provide a week’s notice before he can travel abroad to Scotland.
Bitcoin And Crime
This will not be the first time that bitcoin activities have been linked to criminals. Its use in nefarious activities has been an argument for lawmakers against the existence of the cryptocurrency, despite studies showing that only a small percentage of bitcoin transactions were actually linked to criminal activity.
Back in July 2021, Claudio Oliveira, the self-titled “Bitcoin King” was arrested for criminal activity involving 7,000 BTC. Earlier in 2022, law enforcement had arrested a New York-based couple in connection to the 2016 Bitfinex hack and charged them with conspiracy to launder $4.5 million in Bitcoin.
The Nigerian Federal High Court in Lagos had, last week, ordered the forfeiture of almost 2 BTC that were seized from a suspect named Alkali Naziru Taminu on suspicions of the coins being obtained through illegal activity.
As the space continues to evolve, it is expected that governments will have more regulatory oversight over the market, which will inevitably lead to the arrest of more bad actors in the space.
Featured image from Escape Artist, chart from TradingView.com
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