UK Lawmakers Support Easy Seizure of Crypto Linked to Terrorist Activity

Lawmakers in the U.K. voted in favor of new rules that could make it easier for law enforcement agencies to seize crypto linked to terrorist activity.

The rules were proposed as amendments to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill, which includes reforms that can help authorities combat local crime.

The same lawmakers in the House of Commons, the parliament's lower house, had already voted in favor of amendments that would give powers to local enforcement to seize, freeze and recover crypto tied to crime. At the second reading of the bill on Oct. 13, they called to mirror these measures in the country’s existing counter-terrorism legislation as well.

“This addresses a gap in current counterterrorism legislation,” Tom Tugendhat, the minister of state responsible for crime and terrorism regulation, said during Tuesday’s line-by-line reading of the bill. Existing counter-terrorism legislation only covers forfeiture of cash, assets and money in bank accounts, a government factsheet said.

Tugendhat added that the counterterrorism legislation will “importantly mitigate the risk posed by those that cannot be prosecuted under the criminal system, but use their proceeds stored as crypto assets to perpetrate further criminality.”

Some other proposed amendments that could have required the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as well as British overseas territories to publish reports on their capacity to regulate crypto were withdrawn from consideration during Thursday’s reading of the bill.

The crime bill will continue to be scrutinized in Parliament before it is passed into law.

Read more: UK Lawmakers Vote to Widen Authorities’ Powers in Seizing Crypto-Related Property