The truckers’ protest in Canada has once again has its funds inaccessible after an Ontario court froze millions of dollars, including cryptocurrency. The freezing order, also known as Mareva injunction, was passed late Thursday in a secret hearing as part of a class-action civil suit filed against the convoy by the residents of Ottawa.
Paul Champ, the legal representative for the plaintiffs, confirmed that this is the first successful Mareva order in Canada targeting bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges. The Mareva injunction is separate from the federal government’s continuing efforts to seize the same funds.
Justice Calum MacLeod issued the order in a effort to restraint the convoy protesters from selling, removing, dissipating, alienating and transferring any of the assets raised for the protests. The order highlights that disclosures must also include any digital assets and associated cryptocurrency wallet addresses. This is also being described as a “pressure campaign” to stem the protest.
However, Keith Wilson, the lawyer who represents the convoy protesters said he only came to know of the Mareva injunction through media reports. He highlighted that they have not been served with the order. Mareva injunction orders were also issued in controversial Canadian business cases such as Hollinger affairs and Bre-X. This legal tool is rare but very powerful.
The Canadian government had been left with no option but to put to put its foot down firmly as protest organizers managed to raise millions through various channels. They also raised cryptocurrencies as its nearly impossible for authorities to keeo track with. Besides, more than $10 million was raised on crowdfunding platform GoFundMe before the fundraiser was shutdown.