The tax authority in the United Kingdom seized three non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for the first time as part of an investigation into an attempt to defraud it of £1.4 Million ($1.89 million).
Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) also arrested three people in the alleged VAT repayment fraud involved 280 alleged fake companies.
HMRC alleged that the suspects — who cannot be named — used “sophisticated methods” to hide their identities, including false and stolen identities, pre-paid unregistered mobile phones, false addresses and invoices, and pretending to engage in legitimate business activities.
The first seizure of an NFT “serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can use crypto assets to hide money from HMRC,” HMRC Deputy Director of Economic Crime Nick Sharp said, according to BBC News.
“We constantly adapt to new technology to ensure we keep pace with how criminals and evaders look to conceal their assets,” Sharp added.
HMRC said it had secured a court order to detain the seized digital artwork NFTs and other crypto assets worth about £5,000 ($6,780).
The investigation continues.
NFTs are a type of crypto asset that represent a range of real-world objects, including artwork, music, and videos. They can be thought of as digital ownership certificates and can be bought and sold using traditional currency or cryptocurrency.
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