Victoria Police have seized cryptocurrency worth a record $8.5 million, linked to drug trafficking on the dark web.
Officers executed six warrants and arrested two suspects, seizing drugs, real estate, money and cars during raids across Melbourne and regional Victoria on Thursday.
The investigation into the alleged trafficking dates back to 2012, when the FBI busted the notorious dark website Silk Road.
"It's been a forensic reconstruction of data, intelligence and evidence, it's been shared across multiple countries," Commander Mick Frewen told reporters on Friday.
Officers raided properties at Dollar, Kinglake, Prahran, Preston and South Yarra, seizing drugs believed to be MDMA, Psilocin, and prescription medicine.
Bank accounts holding about $2.6 million were also seized, along with two houses at Kinglake and Dollar, a Toyota Prado and VW T-Cross.
The total value of assets taken during the bust is believed to be more than $13 million.
A 31-year-old Kinglake woman was charged with drug possession and bailed to appear in court in March, and a 30-year-old man from Preston was arrested and released pending further inquiries.
Commander Frewen said the pair were not previously known to police, showing that online criminal transactions are just "a keyboard away".
"Anyone now has the ability to syndicate money laundering via the dark web," he said.
But he warned police could forensically reconstruct criminal transactions made online and were determined to seize ill-gotten wealth.
"You are not anonymous, you will be identified and held to account," he said.
He said police were sharing intelligence with their overseas counterparts and were working to track illegal assets held offshore.
"We are borderless, stateless and every other law enforcement has the same outlook," he said.
"We seek to cripple their activities any way we can, where we make the most impact, and that is seizure of money, whether cash or cryptocurrency, real estate or shares."
Australian Associated Press
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