A Belfast man named Gary Millar has been charged before Belfast Magistrates Court for allegedly dealing in drugs. The Irish Times reports today that the suspect has been converting his proceeds to cryptocurrency and gold to avoid being caught by authorities.
According to the report, police authorities from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force arrested Millar on Saturday at his residence in the South of Belfast, leading to the seizure of five kilos of narcotics worth around £200,000 ($279,655).
Other items discovered and seized at Millar’s residence were a van, mobile phones and an ounce of gold, the detective said.
Authorities charged Millar with illegally possessing illicit substances in the form of cannabis, with the intention of selling it for a profit, which he usually converts to cryptocurrencies and gold.
“He appears to have used various methods of distribution and will convert the proceeds into gold, cryptocurrency or high-value goods,” the detective said.
While seeking to ensure that Millar would be granted bail, defense solicitor Joseph McVeigh said the police had the wrong picture of his client, adding that Millar is not who they think he is.
Contrary to the opinion that Millar is a drug supplier, McVeigh stated that he is just a “routine drug user,” adding that the cannabis found in his possession belongs to someone else.
Dismissing his claims, one of the detectives said investigations carried out on Millar’s mobile phones suggest that he is an experienced drug dealer who knows how to conceal his dealings from authorities.
The unnamed detective continued that Millar has so far built a network of criminals that distributes drugs in large quantities in the city.
Millar’s bail application was turned down by District Judge Fiona Bagnall due to incriminating evidence found on him and the case was subsequently adjourned to next month.
This is not the first time criminals have converted their illicit proceeds into cryptocurrency to avoid being arrested.
However, the odds have not been in their favor as local authorities have doubled down on efforts to unmask these operations.
Coinfomania reported last year that security agents from various countries busted a massive drug operation that led to the seizure of 500 kilograms of drugs and $6.5 million in cryptocurrencies and fiat.
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Author: Lele Jima