Canadian court confiscates $1.4M worth of bitcoin tied to drug dealing operation

A Canadian court has confiscated approximately CAD $1.9 million (USD $1.4 million) in bitcoin (281.41 bitcoin) belonging to convicted online drug dealer Matthew Phan, the Star reports. Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly ordered the crypto assets should be forfeited to the Ministry of the Attorney General.

According to the report, there is evidence Phan previously used bitcoin to acquire illegal firearms and drugs on the dark web. In December, Phan pleaded guilty to attempting to import a gun and possessing narcotics, including cocaine, PCP and ketamine, which he planned on distributing.


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Although Phan argued he used some of his bitcoins to trade in cryptocurrencies and gold, the court did not accept his reasoning.

“There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that Mr. Phan was using the dark markets to purchase illegal items such as firearms and silencers,” said Kelly. “It is clear from the evidence found during searches, particularly of his condominium unit, that he was conducting a large sales operation of illegal narcotics.”

According to Kelly, there was sufficient evidence to infer the tokens in Phan’s wallet were used for illegal drug sales, particularly on Evolution and Agora marketplaces. Only 7.23 bitcoins will not be forfeited since there isn’t enough evidence to tie them to the crimes.