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Cybercrime: BKA seizes Bitcoins worth two billion euros

The largest amount of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to date has been seized during investigations in Dresden. As the press spokesman for the Saxon State Criminal Police Office (LKA), Kay Anders, confirmed, a suspect handed over 50,000 Bitcoins to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in an investigation. At the current rate, this corresponds to a value of two billion euros.

The background is an investigation against two 37 and 40 year old operators of a pirated copy portal. Until May 2013, the accused are said to have operated the website and, together with other people involved in the crime, distributed more than 880,000 pirated copies of films between 2008 and 2013. They would then have used the income to buy the Bitcoins.

The accused voluntarily handed over Bitcoins to the BKA

The men are being investigated on suspicion of unauthorized commercial exploitation of copyrighted works under the Copyright Act and subsequent commercial money laundering. However, no charges have been brought yet, said Patrick Pintaske, spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office in Dresden .

According to the LKA, the seized amount of Bitcoins is the largest in Germany to date. One of the accused voluntarily transferred the Bitcoins to a virtual currency account at the BKA. How the Bitcoins will now be used has not yet been finally decided. The investigation was supported by the BKA, the US Federal Police FBI and a forensic IT expert company in Munich.

In order to combat structural and serious cases of situational corruption, Saxony set up its own investigation unit called Ines in 2004, which is also investigating this case. Since 2009, the group has also been involved in the prosecution of high-profile and particularly important investigations into serious or organized crime. In addition to public prosecutors, the group also includes a specialist in the evaluation of financial and banking matters.


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