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Drug dealer loses codes for over €53 million in Bitcoin at Galway dump

A drug dealer who turned his earning into a mountain of Bitcoin worth €53.6 million is believed to have lost the keys to his fortune at a garbage dump in Galway.

Clifton Collins (49) had 6,000 Bitcoin seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau, but the Irish Times reports that they cannot be accessed since the account codes are missing.

Collins, originally from Crumlin bought his Bitcoin in 2011, only to watch their value skyrocket into the tens of millions in recent years.

In an act of paranoia he divided them equally between 12 accounts, keeping the access codes on a printed sheet which he stored in his fishing rod case in a rented house at Farnaught, Connemara.

Reportedly, he was concerned that keeping them in a single bitcoin account would leave them too vulnerable to hackers.

However, after Collins was arrested and received a five year sentence in 2017 for cannabis offences, the house was broken into.

Other items were also taken to the dump on behalf of the landlord when he was clearing the place, and the Times reports that workers at the dump did see fishing gear in the haul.

But as this garbage is later sent abroad for processing, there’s no way of knowing where in the world it may be.

The €53.6 million haul is technically the highest value haul made by the CAB, but without the access codes, which are understood to have been missing for over a year, it is completely inaccessible.

A smaller wallet containing bitcoin worth €1.5 million which was able to be accessed was also seized.

Gardaí are understood to believe that Collins genuinely lost the codes, with witness testimony backing up this story at multiple points.

While currently inaccessible, Gardaí hope that they will at some point be able to gain access to the account and sell off the assets.

However given how wildly the value of bitcoin is known to fluctuate, it’s impossible to guess what they would be worth at this speculative future date.

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com

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