The suspected operator of Movie2k.to, a pirated content streaming platform, just renounced a fortune. German police have seized the largest-ever quantity of bitcoins, almost 50,000, worth €2 billion.
During an investigation against the operator of the illegal platform Movie2k.to, one of the suspects transferred almost 50,000 Bitcoins to the German federal criminal police officer’s wallets.
Dresden General Prosecutor's Office announced that the Bitcoins were “provisionally secured” in mid-January 2024. The Bitcoins were transferred by one of the suspects.
“This marks the most extensive seizure of Bitcoins by law enforcement authorities in the Federal Republic of Germany to date. The Bitcoins were seized after the suspect voluntarily transferred them to official wallets provided by the BKA. This means that a final decision has not yet been made about the utilization of the Bitcoins,” the press release reads.
An investigation is ongoing into a suspected unauthorized commercial exploitation of copyrighted works for profit and the subsequent money laundering. Two individuals – a 40-year-old German man and a 37-year-old Polish man – are suspects for their involvement in a German piracy website that operated until May 2013.
They are accused of buying Bitcoins with the earnings from the Movie2k.to website. Movie2k was one of the largest illegal streaming services in Germany.
Authorities will not provide any further information until the investigation is completed. The investigation was led by the Dresden General Prosecutor's Office, Saxony State Criminal Police Office, and the local tax office, and it received support from the FBI and a Munich-based forensic IT expert company.
According to golem.de, the two alleged main operators of Movie2k.to were accused in August 2020 of having, together with other participants, distributed over 880,000 illegal film copies between Autumn 2008 and May 2013. They operated an illegal streaming service on Romanian servers and started buying Bitcoins on a large scale in mid-2012.
This is not the first seizure related to Movie2k. In early 2020, the site’s programmer handed over €25 million in Bitcoins as “compensation for damages” to authorities after being in custody since 2019, speigel.de reported.
On Tuesday, the price of Bitcoin was fluctuating around $43,300.
The German police’s captured stash is comparable to the seizure of more than $3.3 Billion worth of Bitcoin by the US federal authorities from the individual who hacked and stole Bitcoin from the Silk Road dark web store.t
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