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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manion

Crypto Assets Seized Over Unpaid Parking Fines

Japanese police have started seizing crypto assets over unpaid parking fines.

In a Japanese prefecture north of Tokyo, police have widened the list of assets they would normally seize from citizens who do not pay their parking fines.

Normally the police would seize savings or property, such as a car, of the non-paying individual, but in keeping with changing technological times, the police have begun to seize crypto assets.

An article in The Asahi Shimbun, an English language Japan/Asia news platform, tells how police in the Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo have been successful in seizing assets over unpaid parking tickets.

In the fiscal year 2021, Saitama police seized savings or vehicles in 99% of the 477 cases of unpaid parking tickets. However, by March this year, 925 cases were still outstanding as police were unable to seize assets. This amounted to a value of more than 13 million yen ($95,000).

Nonetheless, in August this year police were able to confiscate crypto worth 113,000 yen from a man who had five fines for illegal parking. According to the article report, this was the third time that crypto had been seized over unpaid parking fines.

A saitama police official commented on how other assets would actively be confiscated over unpaid fines:

“Individuals’ assets are not limited to savings nowadays. It wouldn’t be fair if we can’t collect fines just because the car owners don’t have cash. We will actively seize assets in cryptocurrency or investment funds from now on.”

The National Police Agency (NPA) does not collect information on which assets were seized over parking fines, but it has acknowledged that the prefectural police of Hyogo, and Gifu, had also seized cryptocurrencies among other assets.

Toki Kawase, a lawyer with knowledge of crypto assets, was quoted as saying that “Public authorities are catching up with what’s happening in the real world,” but he did add however that:

“It’s not difficult to evade asset seizures by moving those assets overseas on the internet. Therefore, it’s necessary to continue passing legislation that reflects technological advances.”

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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