After being convicted and jailed, the Sweden government pay a drug dealer about $1.5 million in BTC. The prosecutor will have to return about 33 BTC to the man after the bitcoin he obtained illegally increased in value when he was in jail.
The Mistake of the Swedish Prosecutor
About two years ago, a man was convicted by the Swedish court after he was caught selling drugs online and getting his payment through BTC. However, then the prosecutor was going to file the case, He – Tove Kullberg recorded the value of the BTC in fiat value when he was making the initial case against the man.
As a result of the prosecution, the court ordered that the BTC earned by the man through his sales should be seized. The value of the asset then was about 1.3 million kronor (equivalent to $100,000). This mistake by the prosecutor has led to the court having to pay the convicted drug dealer $1.5 million on his release.
After two years of conviction and imprisonment, the price of BTC surged rapidly, and the drug dealer’s crypto stash appreciated tremendously to over $1.5 million.
To create a balance in the original statement of $100,000 made by the court as a prosecution, the Swedish Enforcement Agency will need to sell off just 3 BTC to extracted the $100,000 recorded in the case file. They will, however, have to return 33 BTC (approximately $1.5 million) to the criminal’s wallet.
This situation would have been avoided had the government sold the BTC since it was incarcerated or the prosecutor has reported the funds seized in crypto, not fiat value.
The Prosecutor’s Reaction
Talking to Sweden Radio, the prosecutor, Tove Kullberg, admitted that how she reported the case is a mistake, and she described it as an unfortunate situation to subject the government.
She further spoke about the lesson she learned from the situation, and one of them is to always keep the value in BTC if such a case ever arose again. “The government profit from the crime would have been 36 BTC irrespective of the value has there been no mistake,” she admitted.
For her, this is the first of its kind case in the history of Swedish legal prosecution, and somehow, the mistake looks quite inevitable. However, Kullberg emphasized the importance of educating the government workforce on the intricate details of the crypto space and its implications on the court rulings. “If the level of education is high,” she said, “there will be fewer mistakes.”
This case with the Swedish government is a typical example of how the advent of cryptocurrencies is a challenge to legal agencies. There will need to be a thorough understanding of the technicality and volatility involved with the space and how it can be integrated into the legal system.