German police reportedly seizes $2.1B worth of Bitcoin (BTC)

  • Police in German have seized 50,000 bitcoin (BTC) worth over $2.1 billion. 
  • The seizure relates to an investigation against two people who conducted a website piracy operation in 2013.

In latest crypto news from Germany, police are reportedly in possession of 50,000 Bitcoin (BTC) seized in mid-January as part of an investigation into a website piracy operation.

The value of the BTC is currently worth about $2.17 billion and the biggest ever crypto seizures in Germany, police said in a statement published on January 30. CoinDesk reported the story first.

Suspect “voluntarily transferred” BTC to police wallets

According to the police, the BTC seizure relates to an investigation around copyright infringements via a website established in 2013.  Law enforcement say an operation supported by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the FBI and a Munich forensic IT expert company, have been looking into the activities of the website that operated until May 2013.

Two individuals – a 40-year old German and 37-year old Pole – are suspected to have targeted a leading German company and commercially exploited copyrighted works. The unauthorised activities and the pirated works were in violation of the country’s Copyright Act, the police statement noted.

The suspects reportedly used proceeds of the piracy operation to purchase Bitcoin. In their announcement, the Dresden General Prosecutor’s Office, the Saxony State Criminal Police Office and the the Leipzig II Tax Office say the suspects “voluntarily transferred” the BTC to wallets provided by the BKA.

Police say an investigation into money laundering related to this case are ongoing. Authorities have also not reached a decision on what to do with the seized bitcoins.

US government holds more than 216,000 BTC 

The German police’s announcement comes just days after the US government notified the public of its plans to sell over $130 million in BTC seized from individuals connected to the shut dark net marketplace Silk Road. US authorities revealed plans to sell another haul of forfeited BTC linked to Silk Road in early 2023.

Data from blockchain security and analytics firm Arkham shows US authorities currently hold crypto worth more than $9.3 billion. It includes 216,000 BTC currently worth over $9.1 billion. The crypto was seized from various individuals over the past few years.

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