Police in the UK following a criminal investigation took hold of about £180 million in cryptocurrency, with the seizure topping a record amount made just weeks before by law enforcement.
Metropolitan Police on Tuesday said detectives with its Economic Crime Command received intelligence about the transfer of criminal assets, leading to the July 10 discovery of nearly £180 million ($249 million) worth of cryptocurrency. The Met didn’t specify the type of cryptocurrency that was seized. The detectives have been focusing on an ongoing investigation into a suspected international money laundering.
A 39-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering offenses on June 24, the Met said, adding that she was released on bail.
The same team of detectives on June 24 seized £114 million in cryptocurrency – then a record amount – as part of their probes.
“Proceeds of crime are laundered in many different ways. While cash still remains king in the criminal world, as digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money,” said Graham McNulty, the Met’s deputy assistant commissioner, in a statement.
Police said the investigation has been complex and wide-ranging and will continue for months to identify the people at the center of the money-laundering ring.
Meanwhile, in the US, a “prolific identity thief” who fraudulently used credit cards, pocketed $500,000, and bought bitcoin has been sentenced to three years in prison, according to the federal court in Seattle.
Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone said on Friday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did not agree to the officer’s request of him to denounce members of the House GOP who downplayed the Capitol riot.
Fanone was among the Washington, DC MPD and US Capitol Police officers who were on duty at the Capitol on January 6 when a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached and stormed the Capitol.
On Friday, Fanone and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn met with McCarthy to describe their experience during the Capitol siege and ask the House Minority Leader to denounce members of his caucus who voted against legislation honoring the officers who were at the building during the insurrection.
“I asked McCarthy to denounce the Republicans that voted against the Gold Medal bill that would recognize and honor my coworkers and colleagues that fought to secure the Capitol on January 6,” Fanone told reporters at the Capitol.
Bodycam footage captured Fanone being assaulted during the Capitol insurrection, and at one point, he could be heard pleading, “I have kids.” Prosecutors said Fanone was hit several times with a stun gun, dragged down steps, and beaten with a flagpole, and he had a heart attack. Fanone told CNN he got post-traumatic stress disorder following the incident.
Fanone also said he asked McCarthy to denounce Rep. Andrew Clyde’s statement with regard to January 6. In May, Clyde compared those who entered the Capitol as tourists and said describing the riot as an insurrection is “a bald-faced lie.”
“I found those remarks to be disgusting,” Fanone said, adding that he asked McCarthy to publicly denounce conspiracy theories claiming the FBI had a role in the January 6 riot.
When asked if McCarthy agreed to his requests, Fanone said, “Not in my mind, no.”
“This is not something I enjoy doing. I don’t want to be on Capitol Hill. I want to be back home with my daughters,” Fanone said. “But I see this as an extension of my service on January 6, so many of my coworkers and colleagues like Harry are still at work, still doing their job, still fulfilling their oath.”
“So I’m trying to do the best job that I can to fulfill mine and support them,” he continued.
A representative from McCarthy’s office did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
More than 20 Republican lawmakers voted against a bill the House passed on Tuesday awarding all law enforcement officers the highest congressional honor for their work during the January 6 Capitol riot.
Not a single House Democrat opposed the measure, which passed with the overwhelming support of 406 members.
A few Republican lawmakers said they opposed the bill because it referred to the riot led by former President Donald Trump’s loyalists to disrupt Congress’ certification of the presidential election as an “insurrection.”
“I think it was a mob, but I don’t think it was an insurrection,” said Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican.
“I think if we call that an insurrection, it could have a bearing on their case that I don’t think would be good,” Massie told reporters on Tuesday. “If they just wanted to give the police recognition, they could have done it without trying to make it partisan, without sticking that in there,” he added.
Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania conservative, called the legislation “garbage.”
Far-right Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also said she disagreed with the use of the term and didn’t approve of the bill’s description of the Capitol building as “the temple of our American Democracy.”
Senators have already introduced a similar piece of legislation that will likely pass the chamber.
In March, the House passed a different bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Capitol Police and the DC Police Department that failed to pass the Senate. A dozen Republican House members opposed that bill. Last month, the Senate honored Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who was widely celebrated for protecting lawmakers and deterring rioters inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Much of the current GOP opposition stems from some of the language in the bills, specifically around the Democrats’ use of the term “insurrectionists” to describe the rioters who overtook the Capitol.
Tuesday’s resolution also named the three officers who died in the aftermath of the riots, Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffrey Smith, and included Capitol Police officer William “Billy” Evans, who was killed on April 2 during a car-ramming attack at a Capitol Hill security barricade.
Another difference in Tuesday’s version is that it calls for four medals to be awarded to the various police forces who aided the effort, with one medal to be displayed within the Capitol.
Senate leaders struck a deal with the House to broaden Tuesday’s resolution so that all officers who responded receive a gold medal, and not just Eugene Goodman, meaning that the Senate may be more unified in supporting the current bill.
The Republicans who voted against the second version of the bill on Tuesday were:
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona
Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky
Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado
Rep. Michael Cloud of Texas
Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia
Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida
Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texa
Rep. Bob Good of Virginia
Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland
Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia
Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois
Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama
Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina
Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
Rep. John Rose of Tennessee
Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana
Rep. Chip Roy of Texas
Rep. Greg Steube of Florida
[Background on what exactly is in the bill and why this version will likely pass as opposed to last version]
An attorney for the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department said that MPD officers used tear gas on June 1 last year when protestors were cleared from Lafayette Square and the surrounding area ahead of then-President Donald Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
“The curfew, violence of past nights, chaos created by federal defendants, discharge of tear gas in that direction was not unreasonable,” attorney Richard Sobiecki, representing MPD, said, according to a report from local news outlet WUSA9.
The lawyer’s comments come as part of the American Civil Liberties Union of DC lawsuit against MPD and federal police over their use of tear gas last year when they cleared Lafayette Square.
Sobiecki argued that officers did not violate the demonstrators’ constitutional rights because they “did not target specific protesters,” according to the report.
The Metropolitan Police Department did not return Insider’s request for comment Sunday.
The incident occurred nearly a year ago, on June 1, 2020, amid nationwide protests in response to a Minneapolis police officer’s killing of George Floyd. As The Washington Post previously reported, authorities just after 6:30 p.m. ahead of the city’s then-7 p.m. curfew fired flash-bang shells and rubber bullets into the crowd and used gas to make way for Trump.
After demonstrators had been removed, Trump gave a brief speech in the Rose Garden before he left the White House grounds, walked through Lafayette Square where protestors had been, and posed for a photo holding a bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church.
“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law-enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” Trump said last year prior to the widely criticized photo-op. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
During a June 2, 2020, press conference, Newsham said he was aware that Trump would be moving into Lafayette Square but said “the Metropolitan Police Department did not participate in that movement,” the City Paper reported.
The Washington City Paper in July last year reported that video appeared to show that MPD officers had deployed the use of tear gas on the June 1 incident, contradicting statements from MPD Chief Peter Newsham that his officers weren’t involved in the clearing of protestors.
A police spokesperson told the City Paper at the time MPD was “not involved in the unscheduled movement of the president from Lafayette Square.”