German Authorities Confiscate $30 Million in Bitcoin From Pirate Movie Site

The German authorities, with the help of the US FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), have confiscated about 30 million US dollars in Bitcoin from an operator of a pirate film website. An unspecified amount of bitcoin cash was also confiscated.

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash seized

The Saxon media service announced on Monday the collection of "Bitcoins with a total value of 25 million euros". The seizure was related to a case involving the movie2k.to website, a user-supplied video directory of movies and television programs that allowed users to download pirated content.

The Dresden General Public Prosecutor's Office, the Saxon State Criminal Police and the Leipzig Tax Department have investigated two main operators of this pirate film portal and a Berlin real estate entrepreneur associated with the case. All of the defendants are German nationals. The site operators reportedly distributed over 880,000 pirated films and TV shows through the movie2k.to platform. They also operated an illegal streaming service between Fall 2008 and May 2013, the announcement details.

One of the operators was the site programmer. He and the real estate entrepreneur have been in police custody since November last year on suspicion of commercial money laundering. The authorities claim to have "fully authorized" the crime and are now helping law enforcement agencies investigate the second operator.

The programmer used the income from advertising and “subscription traps” since mid-2012 to “buy large amounts of bitcoins,” the announcement said. Subscription traps refer to when users signed up for a service but then found it almost impossible to cancel.

"The programmer received over 22,000 bitcoins," said the authorities, noting that between autumn 2013 and mid-2016 he mainly used cryptocurrency to buy real estate. The real estate entrepreneur allegedly invested and managed the programmer's income from the movie2k.to website. The pirate site was closed in 2013 due to copyright infringement and replaced by movie4k.to. At today's rate of $ 11,640, the programmer has BTC would be worth $ 256 million.

With the help of the Federal Criminal Police Office and the US FBI, the uncovered and confiscated authorities Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash belong to the programmer. "The confiscated bitcoins were voluntarily released by the programmer during his questioning by the public prosecutor's office for compensation," concludes the announcement without specifying the number of confiscated coins.

What do you think of the German authorities seizing Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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