German authorities reported on Tuesday (30) that they had confiscated a massive amount of 50,000 Bitcoins, worth US$2.17 billion (R$10.74 billion). According to a statement from Dresden police, the operation constitutes the “largest Bitcoin seizure” carried out in Germany to date.
The investigation was the result of cooperation between the Dresden police, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the FBI (the American investigative agency) and a Munich-based company specializing in IT forensics.
“This is the largest Bitcoin seizure by law enforcement authorities in the Federal Republic of Germany to date,” Dresden police stressed in the statement.
Money laundering and piracy
The authorities stressed that the ongoing investigations are related to money laundering practices. The investigation targets two suspects, who ran a hacking website in Germany until 2013.
The bitcoins were seized after the suspects transferred the digital currencies to official wallets provided by BKA. The large amount of Bitcoins seized demonstrates the scale of the investigation and highlights the importance of joint operations between police forces at an international level to combat cybercrime.
Bitcoin and crime
Bitcoin is known for its decentralized and anonymous nature, making it a popular choice for illicit online transactions. However, the massive seizure proves that law enforcement is adapting and increasing its capabilities to track and seize digital assets involved in criminal activity.
The operation in Germany follows the trend of a global increase in crime-related cryptocurrency seizures, highlighting the increasing role cryptocurrencies play in the modern economy and criminal landscape.