Irish Court Finds Silk Road Dealer’s ETH to Be Proceed of Crime
The High Court of Ireland has ruled that 25,000 euros (approximately $28,400) worth of ethereum held by Neil Mannion, a 37-year-old man currently serving out a prison sentence for drug offenses, comprise proceeds of crime.
Irish High Court Rules Crypto Comprises Proceed of Crime
In what has been described by Irish media as a case that has “broke[n] new ground,” the High Court of Ireland has found cryptocurrency to comprise a “crime proceed.”
The judge presiding over the case, Ms. Justice Carmel Stewart, granted orders pertaining to Neil Mannion’s 2,000 ETH that were sought by Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau.
The Criminal Assets Bureau also sought proceedings asserting that the funds contained in various bank accounts owned by Mannion were derived from criminal activities.
Mannion Unsuccessfully Opposes Criminal Asset Bureau’s Orders
Mannion attempted to oppose the orders, claiming that his personal rights had been breached through the investigations into his cryptocurrency holdings. While Justice Stewart noted that the arguments had merit, Stewart dismissed Mannion’s opposition, stating that the investigation had in fact been hindered by the intricate details of the data privacy rights pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Stewart also noted the likelihood that future cases may result in individual rights being breached in investigations into cryptocurrency holdings believed to be associated with crime, advocating that Ireland’s juridical apparatus be prudent in preparing for challenges pertaining to individual rights and cryptocurrency investigations.
‘The Hulkster’ Arrested in 2014
Mannion is currently serving a six-and-a-half year sentence in Wheatfield Prison, a medium security institution in Dublin. He was arrested following a raid conducted by the police service of the Republic of Ireland in November 2014 at premises in Dublin and was jailed during the following year.
Mannion confessed to using the property as a distribution center for his narcotics sales in addition to trafficking his products via Silk Road and Agora using the pseudonym ‘The Hulkster’ and was charged for the possession of amphetamine, LSD, and cannabis resin with intent to sell or supply. Proceedings were closed in February 2016.
The Criminal Assets Bureau again sought for the ETH to be ruled as comprising proceeds of crime during July 2016 following a review of the case.