Prosecutors in Norway are arguing that a trio of men charged with illicit online drug sales in that country should be forced to pay part of their criminal penalty using Bitcoins. If prosecutors get their wish, the three men would be required to pay a total of 120 Bitcoins, as well as an additional 3.1 million Norwegian kroner, as a penalty for their alleged drug sale activities on various underground websites.
One of the prosecutors involved in the case, Richard Beck Pedersen, reportedly told the Associated Press that the group was allegedly selling narcotics on sites that included Silk Road, and that the perpetrators used Bitcoin to take advantage of the digital currency's perceived anonymity. Charges against the trio were formally filed last Friday, and were the result of an investigation that took more than two years to complete. The defendants were initially arrested in Oslo back in 2015, and narcotics and an indoor marijuana growing farm were seized during those arrests.
According to Pedersen, the investigation produced evidence that Bitcoin was used for many of the sales. That evidence will undoubtedly play a central role in the defendants’ trial, which is expected to begin later this year.
Pedersen was adamant that the prosecutors' actions in this case should not be misinterpreted as some type of formal government acknowledgment of Bitcoin or other digital currencies. As he told the Associated Press,
“This is in no way an official Norwegian recognition of the digital currency.”