A Swedish prisoner received an unexpected gift from the justice system: more than one million euros, which corresponds to 33 bitcoins. The case shows how judges are not always well informed about cryptocurrencies.
In prison for two years, a Swedish drug seller received 33 bitcoins, or nearly 1.5 million euros. The reason is in part due to the incredible inflation in the price of bitcoin since its imprisonment (it has been increased by more than 10), and a loophole in Swedish law.
The story begins two years ago, during the trial of a drug dealer. The latter is worried for having sold drugs illegally online – and besides that is how he found himself in possession of 36 BTC.
The man was sentenced to prison, but the court of law at the time also decided to recover the total amount of bitcoins, which at the time corresponded to just over 100,000 euros. However, justice makes two errors: the first is that it is the amount in fiat currency that is entered in the file, and not the number of bitcoin. And second, bitcoins don’t sell right away: between the conviction of the drug seller and the sale of bitcoins, the price of cryptocurrency has skyrocketed.
Suddenly, to be able to obtain the 100,000 euros that the justice has decided to recover, it is therefore sufficient to sell only 3 bitcoins. And the remaining 33 BTC are thus returned to the drug seller – who will therefore have benefited from a nice capital gain.
A first in Sweden
But it was also the lack of case law in Swedish cryptocurrency law that led to this result. Tove Kullberg, the prosecutor in charge of the trial two years ago, told Swedish radio that the situation was ” regrettable “, But that it was also about consequences that it would have” never imagined at the time “.
” The takeaway from this story is that you just have to keep the bitcoin value, that the crime profit was 36 bitcoins, no matter what bitcoin was worth at the time. », She explained. The Telegraph also reports that this case is the first in the judicial history of the country where bitcoins have been seized. No case law had been established during the judgment, said Tove Kullberg.
” I think prosecutors should invest in training on this subject. Cryptocurrency is something we’re going to have a lot to do with in the future. The more knowledge we have about it, the less mistakes we will make », She concluded. His appeal should not go unnoticed: Asa Lindhagen, the Swedish finance minister recently announced that the government will tighten the screws on cryptocurrency exchanges.