urtis Warren, a British drug lord, convicted of smuggling cannabis, is expected to be freed from prison next month.
However, he will allegedly be imprisoned for five years if he utilizes WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger or engages with cryptocurrencies.
For decades, Warren (also known as "Britain's Pablo Escobar") has been a source of consternation for European authorities. In 1996, Dutch police apprehended him while attempting to import drugs from Colombia into Europe, and he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Shortly after his release, he participated in another tremendous narcotics dispersion in the United Kingdom. However, British law enforcement officers discovered the crime, and Warren was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
The Times recently reported that the wrongdoer's sentence is due next month. To avoid prison, the officials will demand him follow a number of strict rules. He should never own cryptocurrencies and should avoid using messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Warren will be limited to one smartphone, Sim card, and phone number to prevent future drug schemes. He won't be allowed to have more than $1,000 in cash, and agents will keep track of any money he borrows or transfers.
While the authorities may intend to prohibit Warren from using cryptocurrencies, the technology behind it is intended to render such efforts futile.
The blockchain of Bitcoin is a public ledger with no central authority controlling who can use it. That is why many people refer to it as "immutable," as authorities, including governments and central banks, are powerless to censor people. Anyone can create a pseudonymous BTC wallet and openly conduct business on the network.
They could, however, blacklist Warren and inhibit cryptocurrency exchanges from opening an account in his name.
The Role of Bitcoin in Drug Policy
While there is no evidence that Warren utilized digital currencies in his illegal activities, many other drug lords and entities do.
In March, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported that a growing number of Mexican and Colombian cartels were focusing on digital assets. According to the allegations, notorious gangs like the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel embezzled some of their criminal proceeds by acquiring small amounts of bitcoin.
After pleading guilty to operating a drug scheme using cryptocurrencies, West Yorkshire authorities sentenced British resident Simon Barclay to nine years in prison.
Soon after, India's Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested Makarand Pardeep Adivirkar, also known as "The Crypto King," for allegedly purchasing drugs on the Darknet with Bitcoin.
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