Vancouver Police Department Accused of Withholding $2.5m in Bitcoin
Despite the fact that the Bitcoin-friendly Silk Road in its original form is now long gone, there still remain court cases on the subject matter.
For those who missed the memo, the Silk Road was the name of a popular, infamous online marketplace (situated on the deep/dark web) that allowed its users to trade an array of different goods, mostly narcotics, for BTC. However, it was shut down after U.S. authorities managed to capture those involved, including Bitcoin pioneer and now-convict Ross Ulbricht, who many in the cryptocurrency believe should not be held responsible.
Anyhow, back to the matter at hand. As reported by prominent Canadian media outlet CBC this week, an individual going by “D.A.L.” is accusing the Vancouver Police Department of mistreating assets pertaining to his case.
D.A.L., who has already served his time for trafficking mostly marijuana, claims that the VPD should not continue to have access to a laptop hard drive, reported having millions worth of Bitcoin stored on it because earlier this month, the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that it should be returned to the owner.
The police believe that the Bitcoin found on the hard drives, seized in 2013, are the proceeds of the sale of illicit goods on Silk Road, and have thus kept it. D.A.L., on the other hand, has begged to differ, stating:
The police committed fraud by deliberately failing to advise the justice of all the pertinent facts. The police deliberately and fraudulently misled, not only the justice who approved their application, but also counsel.”
The Bitcoin in question amounts to 226.44 coins, which is valued at over $2.5 million U.S. as of the time of writing this. It is no small sum, that’s for sure. But back then, the cryptocurrency may have only amounted to a few thousand dollars. Considering that the cost of living in Vancouver, which is where D.A.L. and his family reside, is sky-high, it is no surprise that he is fighting for the money that he believes he deserves.
If courts find that the Vancouver Police Department’s claim of upholding justice to keep the hard drive is unbacked, D.A.L. is likely to receive the Bitcoin back. However, with the ever-changing state of the cryptocurrency markets, the value of said coins may be drastically different then than it is now.
D.A.L.’s case is very different than other Silk Road traffickers in that he claims that he should have possession of the Bitcoin, while other cases have seen the suspects lose their assets, which often amount to millions worth of different digital assets, forever.
Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash