German Police Seize $3.5bn in Bitcoin from Piracy Website Raid

By Aaron Feuerstein January 31, 2024 In Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency
  • The US FBI collaborated with German law enforcement agencies, including the Saxony Integrated Investigation Unit, in a major operation leading to the seizure of almost 50,000 Bitcoins, marking the largest Bitcoin confiscation by authorities in Germany.
  • The police accuse two individuals, a 40-year-old German and a 37-year-old Polish national, of copyright infringement and money laundering through large-scale unauthorised distribution of copyrighted material, with the illegal proceeds allegedly converted into Bitcoin.

US FBI Joins German Law Enforcement

The General Prosecutor’s Office of Dresden, Germany, and the State Criminal Police Office of Saxony, in collaboration with the Leipzig II Tax Office’s tax investigation department, seized almost 50,000 Bitcoin in mid-January. The three departments form a unit called Saxony Integrated Investigation Unit (INES) which was supported by the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the United States FBI and an unnamed Munich forensic IT expert company.

This is the most extensive security of Bitcoins by law enforcement authorities in the Federal Republic of Germany to date. The Bitcoins were seized after the accused voluntarily transferred them to official wallets provided by the BKA.

Saxony Police

The police added in the statement that no decision has been reached about how the Bitcoin will be used.

The police allege violations of copyright infringement and money laundering by operating websites or portals that distributed copyrighted material without permission. It is implied the operation was on a large scale and the identified suspects are a 40-year-old German individual and a 37-year-old Polish individual. It is alleged that the individuals funnelled the proceeds of these crimes into Bitcoin.

According to the report the Bitcoin was transferred voluntarily by the accused. The Bitcoins were sent to an official wallet of the BKA.


The police said no further information would be released until the investigation is finalised.

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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