In early 2017 Irish drug dealer, Clinton Collins found himself in a dilemma: where to hide the codes of his £46m bitcoin fortune from his ill-gotten gains.
His solution was to print them on to an A4 piece of paper and stash it in the aluminium cap of a fishing rod case kept at his rented home in Farnaught, Cornamona, County Galway, which seemed like a good idea at the time!
Then three events changed everything, Police arrested Collins after finding €2,000 worth of cannabis in his car, he was sentenced to five years in jail. His landlord, think he wouldn’t be coming back, cleared out his room, resulting in Collins’ possessions being taken to a local dump.
The Bitcoin codes are now missing, meaning the accounts cannot be accessed.
Workers at the dump told the Irish police force, the gardaí, they remembered seeing discarded fishing gear and that the waste from the dump goes to Germany and China to be incinerated. After a frantic search, the fishing rod case has never been found.
Collins, 49, has apparently told the gardaí he has come to terms with the loss of the fortune and considers it punishment for his own stupidity.
The high court in Dublin ruled this week that Collins had forfeited the accounts because they were proceeds from crime.
Originally from Crumlin, a working-class district of Dublin, Collins worked as a security guard and a beekeeper – he won awards for his honey – before cultivating cannabis full-time from around 2005.